The approval of transit -oriented development (TOD) by the ministry of urban development in July this year was aimed at addressing the shortage of affordable housing, pollution and congestion and to promote the walk-to-work conce pt. The policy provided for a higher floor area ratio or FAR of 400, enabling vertical construction or tall buildings within the influence zone extending to 500 metre on both sides of the mass rapid transit system (MRTS) in the Capital.
Taking a cue from Delhi, Ghaziabad has now proposed a similar policy for areas falling under the Metro’s influence zone along its two Metro corridors – the functional 2.57 km line from Anand Vihar to Vaishali and the other 9.41 km (under-construction) corridor from Dilshad Garden to the New Bus Stand.
In its TOD proposal, the Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA) has defined 500-metre zones on each side of the Metro corridors. There are no hard and fast rules related to the 500-metre limit. It can be extended to a physical boundary like a major road or a railway line, say GDA sources.
The authority has allowed mixed land use as part of TOD in several residential areas along the Metro route. The ‘influence zone’ in the 9.41 km stretch under construction will include Rajendra Nagar, Shyam Park, Shalimar Garden, Lajpat Nagar, Radhey Shyam Park, Navin Park and Patel Nagar. The operational line will have Vaishali as part of its influence zone with the Site-4 industrial area on the other side.
Earlier this week, GDA put its TOD proposal before its board which approved it on the condition that additional areas (such as those in the industrial belt) also be brought under TOD and given extra FAR.
The zoning regulations for TOD released in March had specified that plots of 5,000 sq m in developed areas with a road 60 ft or more could get an additional FAR of up to 4. Underdeveloped areas with plot sizes of 40,000 sq m and road 100 ft wide or less could get a maximum FAR of 5.
To include industrial areas, sources in GDA say that once industrial plots held by the Uttar Pradesh State Industrial Development Cor poration (UPSIDC) are included, the zoning regulations and planning norms for TOD will open for public objections according to which areas could be extended or decreased. After clearance, it would be forwarded to the state government for final approval following which a gazette notification would be issued, GDA sources said.
However, it has not yet been confirmed whether UPSIDC would want to change the land use of industrial to residential or commercial. UPSIDC land utilisation at present consists of either operational or sick units. GDA or the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) have to first undertake a survey of properties falling along the Metro alignment route, say sources in UPSIDC.
Will the authority, however, be able to recover the money spent on the construction of the Metro corridor by allowing mixed land use in the defined influence zones? The present cost of the Metro stands at ` 2,210 crore. Of this the Union government will contribute almost ` 402.4 crore while the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation will contribute ` 328 crore. The remaining ` 1,480 crore will be be shared by different UP agencies such as GDA, UP Avas Vikas Parishad and the UP State Industrial Development Corporation in different proportions.
“We are already charging Metro cess from areas that come under the influence zone to meet the construction cost of the corridor,” say GDA sources, adding they can only hope to realise the cost of construction once it’s clear how many would be interested in availing of extra FAR and going for mixed land use near the Metro influence zones (that involves payment of fees but is voluntary).