Punjab to bring unified building rules: Here’s what it means

The rules cover all categories of constructions including residential plotted developments, group housing, commercial and institutional buildings.

Updated: Dec 21, 2017 09:25:13

By Munieshwer A Sagar

At present, there are different rules for civic areas and other areas. (HT FIle)


The Punjab government is actively considering to bring in unified building rules, applicable in both the municipal and non-municipal areas in the state. At present, two distinct building rules are operational – the Punjab Municipal Building Bye-Laws applicable in the municipal areas; and Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority Building Rules applicable throughout the state outside municipal limits.

The housing and urban development department is formulating the new uniform rules, and the department of local government has also been taken on board. The housing department recently took suggestions and objections of the local government department on the issue, said a senior housing department official on condition of anonymity.

The rules cover all categories of constructions including residential plotted developments, group housing, commercial and institutional buildings.

At present, building rules of the two departments share common ground on some building aspects. The major differences between two sets of rules pertain to the norms related to floor area ratio (FAR), road width requirements, ground coverage, minimum parking requirements, etc.

“We are trying to merge the two set of rules so as to bring uniformity across the state and make it more helpful for the people irrespective of their location,” said Ravi Bhagat, special secretary, housing and chief administrator, Punjab Urban Development Authority.

“In cases where these rules can’t be merged, it will be clearly mentioned what rule will be applicable in which location,” he said.

The unified building rules will bring in greater clarity for the people seeking approval for different categories of building in different locations and it will be more convenient for them, said Bhagat.

Interestingly, earlier this year, both the departments had separately issued new draft building plans and invited public suggestions. The housing department had issued the draft of Punjab Urban Planning and Development Building Rules, 2017 in September and revised the same earlier this month. The local government department issued the draft of Punjab Municipal Building Bye-Laws 2017 in May this year.

“The two sets of draft rules also differ in several aspects like norms regarding the FAR, multi-storey parking, shopping complexes, multiplex, miniplex, frontage and building walls in the institutional buildings, minimum plot size requirements for group housing, commercial spaces and public offices, maximum permissible height for residential buildings, etc,” said a senior housing department official.

“Some categories like independent housing is not defined under the municipal building rules, while the housing department rules define the same,” he said. The new rules are being framed on the lines of Model Building Bylaws, 2016, issued by the Union ministry of urban development and poverty alleviation and national building code (NBC).

The proposed uniform rules are set to incorporate unlimited FAR for group housing, commercial, industrial and office buildings on the fulfillment of certain conditions. Also included is the multi-level parking up to 40% of the total area. These rules also define and incorporate new categories like studio apartments, dhabha, miniplex, rental housing, etc, informed the official.

If implemented, these rules are expected to bring in greater uniformity in the buildings constructed in the state. The different and sometimes conflicting rules are blamed for haphazard urban growth, illegal structures in the state and illegal ribbon development around national and state highways.

First Published: Dec 21, 2017 09:18:23


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