SC asks DDA why conversion charge for commercial use was reduced

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday asked Delhi Development Authority (DDA) why it had reduced the conversion charge for commercial use of upper residential floors of various markets in Delhi.

A bench of Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Deepak Gupta pulled up the land owing agency — DDA for reducing the one-time conversion charge for commercial use from Rs 89,000 per square metre to Rs 22,274, per square metre and asked it to file an affidavit within two weeks on what basis the conversion charge was slashed.

The court was hearing an application related to sealing in the Defence Colony market here.

During the hearing the apex court asked DDA and civic agencies whether they allowed the constructions in accordance with environmental laws and any steps taken for fire, other safety measures, parking facility, availability of water, electricity, footpaths for pedestrians etc.

The court said: “Will you (DDA) do whatever you like to do? Please file an affidavit. It appears that you are under lot of pressure. What about environmental law and fire safety.”

On March 6, the top court had put a stay on proposed amendments to the Delhi Master Plan 2021 that sought to protect traders from a sealing drive in Delhi by increasing the floor area ratio (FAR).

It had slammed the Delhi government and DDA for not filing affidavits on whether an environment impact assessment was conducted before proposing an amendment to the Master Plan.

During the hearing on Monday, the DDA told the bench an affidavit has been prepared on the issue and it would be filed soon.