Am­bi­gu­ity over def­i­ni­tion of in­de­pen­dent floors in Hry

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - Estates - - FRONT PAGE - Mu­niesh­wer A Sa­gar mu­niesh­wer.sa­gar@hin­dus­tan­times.com

CHANDIGARH: Tra­di­tion­ally, home buy­ers in Pun­jab and Haryana opted for kothis (built-up houses). Multi-storey apart­ments gained rel­e­vance in last cou­ple of decades.

How­ever, apart­ments are yet to make a ma­jor dent in the over­all de­mand sce­nario in the re­gion ex­cept for few cities. Even though in­de­pen­dent floors were in­tro­duced in the re­gion only in the later part of the last decade, they at­tracted both home buy­ers and builders.

“Though kothis still re­main the first choice of home buy­ers, in­de­pen­dent floors are the mid­dle ground where af­ford­abil­ity and lifestyle pref­er­ences meet. Prices are also not high when com­paredto in­de­pen­dent kothi,” says Amarpreet Singh, a Ludhiana-based real es­tate con­sul­tant.

Last week, the Haryana gov­ern­ment gave a green sig­nal to the reg­is­tra­tion of the fourth floor in built-up houses as an in­de­pen­dent floor. Ear­lier, reg­is­tra­tion of only three floors was al­lowed, while fourth floor (con­struc­tion of which was al­lowed) formed part of the third floor.

Sig­nif­i­cantly, while the Haryana gov­ern­ment has al­lowed con­struc­tion and reg­is­tra­tion of in­de­pen­dent floors, the cat­e­gory hasn’t been iden­ti­fied or de­fined un­der the Haryana build­ing code.

On the other hand, in Pun­jab, the PUDA (Pun­jab Ur­ban Plan­ning and De­vel­op­ment Agency) Build­ing Rules 2018, ap­pli­ca­ble in the state, ex­cept mu­nic­i­pal ar­eas, the in­de­pen­dent floors have been clearly de­fined.

TALE OF TWO BUILD­ING CODES

Un­der the PU DA code, in­de­pen­dent floors, means“a build­ing used or in­tended to be used for res­i­den­tial pur­pose, where every floor of the build­ing is a

PUN­JAB BUILD­ING CODE DE­FINES IN­DE­PEN­DENT FLOORS AS DIS­TINC­TIVE RES­I­DEN­TIAL CAT­E­GORY AND STIPULATES SPE­CIFIC AR­CHI­TEC­TURAL NORMS

sep­a­rate and in­de­pen­dent dwelling unit with com­mon stair and ser­vices”.

Con­se­quently, the PUDA rules clearly lay down ar­chi­tec­tural con­di­tions for con­struc­tion of in­de­pen­dent floors. It has been iden­ti­fied as a sep­a­rate res­i­den­tial cat­e­gory dis­tinct from plot­ted houses and multi-storey apart­ment projects.

The norms and spec­i­fi­ca­tions for min­i­mum ap­proach road, min­i­mum ground cover­age, min­i­mum floor area ra­tio, min­i­mum num­ber of floors, max­i­mum height of the build­ing, set­backs around build­ings and park­ing are dif­fer­ent in case of plots and in­de­pen­dent floors.

Fur­ther, un­der the PUDA code, for cal­cu­la­tion of in­fra­struc­ture, pop­u­la­tion of plot­ted de­vel­op­ment shall be counted at 15 per­sons per plot, whereas in case of in­de­pen­dent floors hav­ing S+4 or G+3, it shall be at 20 per­sons per plot.

The PUDA build­ing code fur­ther stipulates that in case of in­de­pen­dent floors, plots shall be in a block of row hous­ing and ear­marked for in­de­pen­dent floors in lay­out plan or zon­ing plan.

The code pro­hibits con­struc­tion of an in­de­pen­dent floor on an in­di­vid­ual plot in any block which is not ear­marked in the lay­out plan or zon­ing plan for in­de­pen­dent floors un­less the build­ing is de­tached hav­ing min­i­mum plot area 800 square me­tres.

The park­ing re­quired in case of in­de­pen­dent floors shall com­pul­so­rily be un­der stilts, stipu- lates the PUDA code. How­ever, in case of an in­de­pen­dent plot hav­ing min­i­mum area of 800 square me­tres for in­de­pen­dent floors, park­ing un­der stilts shall be op­tional, pro­vided that the pro­moter pro­vides sur­face/ base­ment park­ing as per norms.

OLD BUILD­ING CODE

In Haryana build­ing code 2017, the in­de­pen­dent floor cat­e­gory gets a men­tion in the form of ‘G+3’ (ground plus three) and ‘S+4’ (stilt plus four). Un­like PUDA code, which dis­tin­guishes the floor cat­e­gory from other res­i­den­tial cat­e­gories, the Haryana code doesn’t. In Haryana, re­lax­ation in build­ing codes has al­lowed mush­room­ing of in­de­pen­dent floors within older res­i­den­tial colonies. In order to fa­cil­i­tate con­struc­tion of floors in older plot­ted houses, changes were­made in the Haryana build­ing code in 2016 in which floor area ra­tio (FAR) was in­creased to 198% (1.98) that is 66% on each floor. Stilt park­ing was al­lowed and to­tal height was in­creased to 15m.

Pu­nit Sethi, chair­man, In­dian In­sti­tute of Ar­chi­tects (Haryana chap­ter), says, “As per the master plan, there should be 2.5 dwelling units per plot and 12.5 per­sons per plot. All in­fra­struc­ture plan­ning and pro­vi­sion­ing of ba­sic ameni­ties have been done as per these norms across the state. But the im­pact of floors on dif­fer­ent civic ameni­ties, pop­u­la­tion den­sity, dwelling units and park­ing re­quire­ments is dif­fer­ent from a plot­ted house. This is es­pe­cially the case now as gov­ern­ment has al­lowed reg­is­tra­tion of fourth floor.”

In Haryana, the floor cat­e­gory, adds Sethi, should be clearly de­fined and norms for the cat­e­gory be formed keep­ing in mind the dis­tinc­tive re­quire­ments of floors. “Gov­ern­ment fo­cus shouldn’t be in­creas­ing rev­enue but pub­lic safety and health,” says Sethi.

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