Relief Likely For Delhi Gyms As DDA Approves Changes In Master Plan
The Delhi Development Authority on October 9, 2019, proposed a change in the master plan of 2021 under which fitness centres, including gyms and yoga facilities, would be allowed to operate in residential areas. "The Authority approved amendment in the master plan by which fitness centres (including gymnasia, yoga or meditation centres and wellness centres) have been allowed to continue, considering their role in making the Fit India Movement a success," the DDA said in a statement. After the notification, new fitness and wellness centres will only be allowed to operate on ground floors or basements.
Earlier, the DDA said it would offer bank locker facilities in the basements of buildings and make changes in the master plan to accodomate the idea. The development body might also allot land under 'religious category' which could be used to carry out yoga training, religious/spiritual preaching and meditation. This land could also be used to build museums, art galleries, exhibition centres, auditoriums, canteens, restaurants, langar halls and community kitchens.
What else does the national capital’s Master Plan of 2021 envisage?
According to the DDA website, "A master plan is the long-term perspective plan for guiding the sustainable planned development of the city. This lays down the planning guidelines, policies, development code and space requirements for various socio-economic activities supporting the city population during the plan period. It is also the basis for all infrastructure requirements."
It is in this context we would look at the key provisions in the Delhi Master Plan 2021 which would have a major impact on future real estate development in the national capital.
The plan: When the draft was notified in 2005 inviting public views, it had received about 7,000 objections and suggestions while 611 people/organisations were given individual hearings over this. The current form of the plan was approved in 2007 by the Union Urban Development Ministry. The plan will be reviewed after every five years.
On categorisation: There are 18 focus areas — categorised from A to R in the plan — based on which Delhi will be turned into a world-class city. These include land policy, public participation & plan implementation, redevelopment, shelter, housing for the poor, environment, unauthorised colonies, mixed-use development, trade & commerce, informal sector, industry, conservation of heritage, transportation, health infrastructure, educational facilities, disaster management, provision for sports facilities and focus on infrastructure development.
On population accommodation: While forecasting that by 2021 Delhi's population would reach 225 lakh, the master plan says that efforts should be made to keep it below 220 lakh. To house this population, the plan asks for adopting a three-pronged strategy:
— By encouraging people to shift to suburbs
— By expanding city limits
— By increasing the population-holding capacity of existing areas by redeveloping them
On redevelopment: According to the plan, there is a “large proportion of underused land with a number of vacant sites as well as dilapidated built-up areas lying vacant in the city and “many of such areas are owned by the government”. These should to be planned for “redevelopment with higher density” to make optimum use of land resource.
On senior living: Elderly According to the plan, the number of people above the age of 60 is expected to reach over 24 lakh and would account for 10.7 per cent of the total population. The plan wants to make the lives of the elderly easier in the city by providing old-age homes, low-floor buses, special seats in buses, special seats in public toilets and ramps in public buildings.
On different areas: The plan defines the walled city (Shahjahanabad), the walled city and the extension (Pahar Ganj, Sadar Bazar, Roshanara Road and adjoining areas) and Karol Bagh was Special Areas. These areas are "a mix of different land uses and have similarities in compact built form, narrow circulation space and low-rise high-density developments, mainly accommodating residential, commercial - both retail or wholesale and industrial uses". The regulations for developing these areas will be diffrent from other areas of the city.
On PSU offices: According to the plan, no new Central and public sector undertaking offices should be built in the National Capital Territory of Delhi (NCTD).
On solid-waste management: According to the plan, the problem of solid waste management in Delhi is assuming "serious proportions" due to an increase in the population, urbanisation, changing lifestyles and consumption patterns. To tackle this problem, it proposes setting up of landfills. "The area required for solid waste disposal through various technologies, including sanitary landfill sites, shall be reserved in the Zonal Plans," says the plan.
On mix-use land policy: To promote non-residential activities in areas meant for housing, the plan envisages a mixed-use policy which would help Delhi use its lands to an optimum level. However, the mixed-use pattern not be permitted in the Lutyens' Bungalow Zone, Civil Lines Bungalow Zone, government housing, institutional/ staff housing of public and private agencies and buildings/ precincts listed by the Heritage Conservation Committee.