Delhi Residents Cheer About Third Floor Ruling

The Supreme Court has allowed an extra third floor in Delhis residential apartments. Are citizens heaving a sigh of relief and how will it impact the Delhis residential real estate market?

Delhis property market is estimated to have about 5 lakh residential plot owners and the Supreme Courts move is expected to impact at least 50 lakh Delhiites. According to MCD sources, plotted residences in the capital house over 40 lakh people and the construction of additional dwelling units would provide accommodation to an additional 10 lakh people.

The SC not only allowed construction of third-floor dwelling units but also allowed them to achieve the liberalised FAR (floor area ratio), offered under Master Plan 2021.

However, there is a rider to this order that affects residential property across Delhi. While allowing property owners to build the additional third floor, the SC has also decreed that the owners have to give an undertaking to abide by the final orders of the court when it gives its verdict on the new Master Plan and the validity of the Central government notification allowing increased commercial activity along selected streets in Delhi.

The other issue that experts are concerned about is whether this flip flop by the Supreme Court in allowing extra residential property units has actually pushed aside the genuine concern that increasing the number of residential property units on a street will lead to increased pressure on the infrastructure that has to cater to the residents of the area. The car parking, sewerage, water supply and various other back-up services to residential property units remains unaddressed.

Present chief Secretary of Delhi, Rakesh Mehta, in his former stint as the Municipal Commissioner of Delhi had evolved a radical new solution to addressing the problem of infrastructural facilities to rapidly urbanising areas. His team had come up with the notion of local area planning where the occupants of the area determine its residential property profile and penalties for unauthorized use would be used to upgrade facilities in the area.

The present Supreme Court order only seems to indicate that the Supreme Court is aware of the acute residential property shortage that the city faces and the need to think out of the box for solutions. But if it does not address issues head-on there may be further trouble in store.