“Please sir, a common man builds a house once in his lifetime. Thousands of people like me are waiting for the new building bye laws to be implemented…,” a Rohini resident wrote in a letter addressed to the Delhi Urban Arts Commission (DUAC). Another resident of Vikaspuri in West Delhi wrote, “We will be grateful… if you will listen to the voice of millions of people waiting for their maps to be sanctioned according to the new guidelines…Our dream house will come true”.
These and scores of other such letters have been pouring in to DUAC’s office, which along with the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) and the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), are in the process of revising the Unified Building By Laws (UBBL) — 31 years after they were first implemented in the national capital.
The DUAC — after reviewing more than 1,300 suggestions from various stakeholders including individuals, municipal corporations, architects, engineers and other government agencies — has submitted its draft to the MoUD. However, the official notification for the implementation of the UBBL is yet to be finalised. Ministry sources said the draft was submitted a month ago and is presently with the DDA for review and suggestions. Ministry sources said the notification should be finalised in another month.
Meanwhile, Delhi residents have been frequently writing to the DUAC expressing their eagerness to see the new laws formalised soon.
“We feel proud and appreciate the hard work and broad vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu. After a lot of effort…the new amended bylaws for Delhi were uploaded on your website. It shows confidence that these amendments will be implemented…The waiting period is very long but as the Modi government is now in power, our hopes of building a house have been restored,” another letter stated.
Another letter has been sent by a physically-challenged woman, whose parents are also disabled. She has requested that the notification be expedited while incorporating the rule of maintaining residential ‘set back’ requirements. ‘Set back’ is the minimum space to be maintained from the property boundary so that there is space for ventilation and a sizeable distance between two houses.
“My mother is 76 years old and suffers from osteoarthritis and high cholesterol. I am also disabled and use mobility aids while my father is wheel-chair bound… In a house where there is no back lane, we have to undergo hardships and face problems of five buildings,” she stated.
A senior government official said, “The bylaws affect residents directly and they are eager for its implementation. The new laws will be implemented soon.”