The Delhi High Court on Monday directed the Central government to explain why it had proposed relaxation of the mandatory policy for creating stilt parking space for all residential construction in the city.
“There will be a fight everyday about parking. What is the reason behind moving away from stilt parking?” the court of Acting Chief justice Badar Durrez Ahmad and Justice Siddharth Mridul asked. The orders were issued after the Ministry of Urban Development informed the court that there had been a proposal to relax the mandatory provision, allowing persons with plot sizes of 500 sqm and above to choose to construct a basement parking or leave open space for parking instead of complying with mandatory requirement of having stilt parking area on the ground level.
The MoUD, through Additional Solicitor General Rajeeve Mehra, informed the court that the residential properties would be allowed a maximum of five separate dwelling units, with a height limit of 17.5 m for the entire building including stilt parking. The ASG also informed the court that the proposal had been submitted after a high-level meeting between the MoUD, DDA, MCD and NDMC.
“Whose interests are you trying to protect? If you don’t have mandatory parking space, where will people park their vehicles?” the court asked. It also said the relaxation was only being offered “to the rich owners of huge plots”.
ASG Rakesh Khanna, appearing on behalf of the MCD, informed the court that the owner and builder of the residential plot would have to give a bank guarantee of Rs 2 lakh per dwelling unit that a parking space would be provided.
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“Every house these days has at least two cars. Assuming there are five residential units, how will they park 10 cars?” the court asked. “Show us on a map or plan of a 500 sqm plot of how the parking will be done on the plot if the stilt parking is done away with,” it said.
In 2010, a group of residents of a Jor Bagh colony had approached the Delhi High Court in a PIL against the “illegal clearance” given to sanction plans by the NDMC, allowing reconstruction of the existing houses into multi-storey residential units.
In their plea, the residents had argued that the MCD and NDMC were granting sanction for construction of completely independent floors and flouting the norms laid down under Delhi Master Plan-2021 and by Supreme Court.