Many parts of Gurugram have witnessed significant growth of plotted residential colonies. The expert committee of the Haryana government has recommended conditional approvals for building plans of stilt-plus-four floors on residential plots.
Construction Challenges in Haryana
The construction of stilt-plus-four floors in residential plots has posed challenges for the state of Haryana. Initially, the government permitted the construction of fourth floors independently. However, this decision faced opposition from residents who believe that the area’s infrastructure is deteriorating.
The residents argue that the building code was altered to add extra floors without improving the infrastructure to accommodate this unplanned growth and population density. As a result, the construction of additional floors has worsened the supply issues of essential utilities such as water, drainage, electricity, security, and parking space.
The Formation of the Expert Committee
In response to the concerns raised, the state government suspended the approvals of fresh stilt-plus-four-floor building plans and barred pending applications on February 22, 2023. Subsequently, an expert committee led by P Raghavendra Rao was established to determine the next steps regarding the suspension of approvals.
Recommendations of the Committee
The committee’s report suggests that in new sectors, stilt-plus-four-floor plans can be approved if adequate infrastructure is developed. However, in old sectors, an audit of the existing infrastructure should be conducted before granting permission.
The construction of stilt-plus-four-floor buildings in old sectors should be limited to blocks with a minimum road width of 12 meters and potential for infrastructure enhancement. The report also recommends conducting audits of existing infrastructure capacity and exploring improvements in drainage, parking, water supply, sewerage, and fire safety.
For new sectors, the committee suggests approving such plans only if the developing infrastructure can accommodate a density of 18 persons per plot. Additionally, the committee advises that building plans should be approved for residential purposes only, excluding hostels or hospitals.
Concerns were raised during consultations regarding sunlight blockage and privacy issues. To address these concerns, the committee recommends reducing the maximum building height from 16.5 meters to 15 meters in such plans.
The committee suggests revising the Haryana Building Code, 2017, to address setbacks, structural safety, ground coverage, and floor area ratio (FAR) concerns and prevent the misuse of stilt parking.
Final Decision by State Government
The state government is yet to make a final decision on the committee’s report. General VP Malik (retired), the former chief of army staff and a prominent critic of the policy, acknowledges the positive aspect of the imposed restrictions. He emphasizes the need for the government to reconsider the issue due to the lack of infrastructure in older sectors.
As per the report, authorities across the state have approved over 24,600 building plans and issued around 11,400 occupation certificates for stilt-plus-four-floor buildings.