DDA proposes more FAR
Mar 24, 2014
Source : The Times of India


DELHI: DDA is planning to increase the floor area ratio (FAR) for residential as well as commercial property in Delhi. At present, the FAR of residential property is only 2.

FAR 2 means that if a person owns a 100 sq m plot, then the total built-up area, across all the permissible floors, can only be 200 sq m. Now, if the FAR is increased, the total built-up area on the same plot will also increase proportionally; thus it will increase the total built-up area which would translate into more residential units (in the case of builders and developers) and more rooms or floors (in the case of individual owners) on the same plot.

However, the revised FAR for Delhi is not yet finalized. Balvinder Kumar, vice-chairman of DDA, says: “If the proposed increase in FAR is approved, it will lead to an increase in the number of new apartments and a drop in prices. This will also be the first step in having a taller skyline in Delhi, much like the top metro cities of the world.”

Other development authorities like Noida and Greater Noida authorities and GDA (Ghaziabad Development Authority) have increased the existing FAR (floor area ratio) by up to 30%.

Authorities like the Yamuna Industrial Development Authority (YEA) and Huda (Haryana Urban Development Authority) are likely to follow the policy in the near future.

With land going in short supply in major NCR cities like Delhi, Gurgaon, and Noida and the demand for housing rising by the day, the increase in FAR is a welcome step.

The enhanced FAR will have multiple benefits for end users, prospective buyers, and developers. As builders and developers have extra cost burden due to land-acquisition issues and increased cost of construction material, this policy will benefit all the stakeholders in the housing sector, especially in Noida and Greater Noida West (Noida Extension) in the NCR.

During the review of Master Plan-2021, Delhi, DDA already enhanced the FAR by 50% for social infrastructure and commercial establishments like hospitals, community recreational clubs, higher educational institutes, service apartments, and hotels. Now, DDA is planning to enhance the FAR under redevelopment plan to allow more space for housing.

The Noida and Greater Noida authorities recently raised the FAR from 2.75 to 3.50. This will yield more houses per unit floor area in the fast developing sectors of Noida, Greater Noida Expressway, and Greater Noida West.

Rama Raman, chairman and CEO of Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority (GNIDA), says: “We decided to revise the FAR, as this will help developers build more housing units on the same plots. The revised FAR will be applicable to the entire Noida and Greater Noida area, excluding the Yamuna Zone, where the extra 25% FAR has not been implemented yet.”

Demand for more FAR

The whole of NCR—in fact, the whole country—is today facing intense problems related to land, be they land shortage or hurdles in land acquisition from villages.

Currently, only 3% of the land is available for residential housing. The fast expanding national capital has a shortage of 0.49 million homes, which could reach to 2.4 million by the end of this decade. Of this, close to 90% of the shortage comes from the economically weaker section (EWS) and lower-income group (LIG) categories.

With Delhi expanding over the years and the population reaching 17 million, property prices have shot up because of which the middle-class homebuyers have been forced to look for houses in new urban areas around the city like Noida-Greater Noida, Gurgaon, Ghaziabad, Faridabad, etc.

What is FAR?

FAR is the ratio of the total floor area of a building to the plot area. The concept underlying FAR is utilization of land in the most optimal manner.

After the relaxation of current limit, developers and builders can enjoy the benefit of increased FAR in two ways: one, builders or developers can go vertical by adding floors and, two, expand horizontally by erecting parallel towers on the same plot.

Development authorities, too, can potentially build highrise apartments which could reach up to 20 floors in certain locations, compared to four-to-six floors now.

In line with this, DDA has plans to increase housing stock in the city by increasing FAR. To implement and make it more robust, all feasible suggestions were taken up during the review of Delhi’s Master Plan-2021.

Like in Noida and Greater Noida, once more FAR is approved, the benefit will show for larger plots in the city as well as for group housing projects. In Noida and Greater Noida, developers and builders are allowed to build only around 2.75 times of the ground area of a project.

This means that on a 1,00,000 sq ft plot, a builder can have 2,75,000 sq ft of built up area if it is a green building and can build 275 flats of 1,000 sq ft each. After FAR was increased, builders and developers can now build 350 flats of 1,000 sq feet each.

While the scheme is applicable to all group-housing projects, for existing projects the benefit can be taken only after purchasing new FAR; developers and builders will have to pay 40% of the current land rate according to structural design.

Rakesh Yadav, MD of Antriksh Group, says: “With this we are now allowed to build 3.5 times of the ground area. This will help us recover the extra cost we are likely to incur in the acquisition of land without putting extra burden on our customers. The increase in the floor area ratio would be good for the buyers also.”

Neeraj Gulati, MD of Assotech Realty, says: “An increment in FAR in the Delhi NCR regions is a good indicator as it allows developers build additional housing units in the same area. But on the other hand, it also leads to a considerable load on infrastructure like roads, water, and electricity, etc.”

“It will definitely help, especially in Greater Noida West, as this area has transformed into a destination for the common man. Increased FAR would translate into more flats and the concept of affordable housing could be revived,” Rakesh Sharma, MD of Ideal Group, said.

Vijay Gupta, CMD of Orris Group, says: “The decision to allow new FAR in Noida-Greater Noida comes as good news to many homebuyers who are unable to find housing options within their budgets. Increased FAR will not only help the authorities raise funds, it might also boost the realty sector which has been witnessing a slump.”

R K Arora, CMD of Supertech, says: “Increase in floor area ratio is certainly a positive decision as far as realty firms are concerned, as we can now build nearly 25-30% more apartments on the same plot. However, market expectations of lower prices may not be possible as there has been a rise in input costs, of cement, steel, labour, etc. The increased FAR will definitely bring in more supply in the market and create room for more affordable housing—this is also an opportunity for us to grow vertical.” The decision to increase the FAR along both sides of the proposed Metro link will not only help the authorities raise funds, but also help boost the real estate industry that has been witnessing a slowdown.

“We welcome the decision to increase the FAR, though it will only have symbolic difference on the real estate market in the region. If Noida and Greater Noida have to grow like other global cities, the only viable option is to do away with the rigid and archaic FAR norms. This will not only generate additional revenue for the government with infrastructure augmentation fee but also boost the housing market, which is reeling under short supply in the region. We look forward to more relaxed FAR norms for Noida and Greater Noida in the future,” Rahul Gaur, CMD of Brys Group, said.

Rajesh Goyal, MD of RG Group, says: “With the increase in FAR there will be new towers in each project, which will open up new inventory for prospective buyers. Homebuyers will get good options at good rates.”

“Developers will either increase height of towers in existing ones or create new towers in open areas, while using the new FAR. This decision is lucrative for us as we get the authority to construct more apartments. But on the other hand, it creates new challenge too. For instance, open areas will shrink in projects and use of common areas will face challenge as there will be more users for the limited common facilities like parking, swimming pools, clubhouses, parks, etc,” Satyendra Tomar, JMD of Proplarity Group, said.

Nitesh Kumar, COO of TDI Infracorp Ltd, says: “We welcome the decision to increase FAR in the Delhi NCR. This will increase the housing supply in prime locations and open up housing option for a larger population base. Undoubtedly, most people cannot afford bungalows.

“Intense and condensed housing is the only solution to meet the challenge of the huge shortfall in housing. FAR anomalies also exist in different parts of the NCR; we want a scientifically-based FAR enumeration for the whole of the NCR, which optimizes land use without hurting environment. The impact of increasing FAR must also be balanced by enhancing the capacity of social and physical infrastructure like roads, sewerage, etc.”

“Enhancing FAR will make residential developments go vertical. The NCR will now see more highrise projects and the skyline of the whole region will be transformed. With shortage of land and demand for housing units only going up, increasing FAR is a good step,” Rupesh Gupta, director of JM Housing, said.

Kushagr Ansal, director of Ansal Housing, says: “The increase in FAR will have multiple effects: buildings will grow taller and developments will be more vertical and space for recreational facilities will also be increased. This can help developers build more units in a lesser space, which will reduce the pressure on land, though marginally.”

FAR enhanced by DDA

For service apartmnets and hotels: 3.25 to 3.75 (earlier 1.50 to 2.25) Universities and hospitals: 2.50 (earlier 1.2) Community clubs: 1.20 Motels: 1.75 FAR for group housing in the NCR Noida and Greater Noida: 3.50 Yamuna Expressway Zone: 3 (proposed 3.75) Ghaziabad: 4 Gurgaon, Faridabad: 1.75 (proposed 2.5)

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