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What separates building codes in Punjab

While the state government works on a Punjab unified building code, HT examines differences between the two sets of building rules operational in the state and the draft rules.

Updated: Feb 10, 2018 22:00:47

By Munieshwer A Sagar

The PUDA draft rules, prescribe a ground coverage of 40% to 65 % and FAR ranging from 1:1.6 to 1:2.6 with mandatory stilt parking. (HT Photo)

At present, two distinct building rules are operational in the state– the Punjab Municipal Building Bye-Laws applicable in the municipal areas; and Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority Building Rules applicable outside municipal limits throughout the state.

Recently, the state government through the department of housing and urban development in coordination with the local government department, started pursuing the unified building code, a common building code for all of Punjab. This development concretised this year; last year, both the departments had proposed different draft building rules for their respective departments.

Here it becomes pertinent to examine the differences between the different building codes, both the one operational at present and the proposed draft rules of the two departments.

Residential plots



The main difference in the residential segment building codes relates to the provision for site coverage and floor area ratio (FAR) in the two codes. Within the municipal limits, the site coverage varies from 40% to 90% and FAR from 1:1.25-1:2.00 depending upon the size of the plot. There is no mention of minimum road width for such developments. Under the PUDA rules, the site coverage varies from 40% to 65% and FAR from 1:0.9 to 1:1.95 depending upon the size of the plot. The minimum road width is 35 feet.



The drafeet municipal building rules 2017, relax the FAR norms while keeping the site coverage the same. The site coverage varies from 40% to 90% and FAR from 1:1.50-1:2.25 depending upon the size of the plot. The draft rules like the operational rules don’t mention minimum road width, minimum plot size or the parking norms. PUDA draft building rules 2017, mention FAR of 1:2 depending on the plot size and keep the site coverage the same. The minimum road width is proposed to be 40 feet. The minimum plot size is 60 sq m, and parking norms are specifically mentioned.

Group housing project

In the group housing segment, the municipal rules call for a road which is at least 40 feet to 60 feet wide; the permitted ground coverage is 40% and FAR is 1:1.75. For a road width of more than 60feet, the coverage declines to 35%, while FAR increases to 1:2. The minimum plot size is prescribed at 2500 sq yard.

In the PUDA limits, the minimum road width is 60 feet and the maximum ground coverage is 30%. FAR varies from 1:2.00 to 1:3.00 depending upon the size of the road. The minimum plot size is 2 acres.

Under the municipal draft building rules 2017, the norms for road width, ground coverage and FAR remain the same. The road width is 40 feet to 60 feet. For above 60 feet, the proposed FAR is 1:2.50. Minimum plot size remains the same.

The proposed PUDA draft rules offer relaxation in these norms. For a minimum road width of 60 feet, the maximum ground coverage is proposed to be increased from 30% to 35%. FAR is to be from 1:2 to unlimited depending on the road width.

The draft rules also introduce the definition of studio apartment with a minimum plot size of 2000 sq m.

Independent floors

The municipal rules and the draft rules don’t define the independent floor category. These are generally passed as group housing, while in practice these buildings get their plans approved as houses.

Under the PUDA rules, independent floors are defined as a separate category with a ground coverage of 40% to 65 % and FAR ranging from 1:1.6 to 1:2.6. The rules make stilt parking mandatory, and the road has to be at least 40 feet wide.

The PUDA draft rules, prescribe a ground coverage of 40% to 65 % and FAR ranging from 1:1.6 to 1:2.6 with mandatory stilt parking. The minimum road width of 40 feet is also part of the draft rules.

Commercial buildings

Under the current municipal rules, the site coverage varies from 50% to 80% and FAR (floor area ratio) from 1:1.50-1:3.00 depending upon the size of the plot for commercial buildings. The minimum road width is not prescribed. The minimum size of a plot is also not mentioned. For a commercial complex, ground coverage of 50% and FAR 1:3.00 are allowed irrespective of the width of the road.

For constructions within PUDA limits, the minimum area for commercial buildings is 1000 sq m with 20 m frontage and a ground coverage of 40%. They are allowed a FAR of 1:1.75.The minimum road width is 80 feet.

The municipal draft rules remain unchanged for commercial buildings and complexes.

The PUDA draft rules don’t allow approval to independent shops. Only commercial complexes are approved with a minimum road width 60 feet and FAR of 1:3.00.

Hotel and banquet halls

Within municipal limits, hotels and banquet halls are considered commercial buildings and the same set of rules is followed.

Under PUDA rules, the stipulated ground coverage is 40%, FAR is 1:3 and the minimum road width is 80 feet.

The PUDA draft rules prescribe 1000 sq yard as the minimum size for a hotel with a road width of 40 feet, and a hotel is considered separate category.

Hospital and nursing homes

For hospitals coming up in a municipal area, the minimum plot size is 250 sq yd, and the prescribed ground coverage is 40% to 50%. On a 30-foot-wide road, on a plot size ranging from 250 sq yard to 1000 sq yard, the allowed site coverage is 50% and FAR is 1:1.5. On a 60-foot-road, 40% coverage area is allowed for plots of 1000 sq yard and above and FAR stands at 1:1.25.

Outside the municipal limits, the ground coverage is 40% and FAR is 1:1.

The municipal drafet rules follow the current municipal building rules for hospitals and nursing homes.

Under the draft PUDA rules, the minimum size for a hospital is 1000 sq yard with a road width of 40 feet.

Public offices, community centres, religious buildings, old age home, educational institutions, warehouses, dhabas, club, motels, and miniplexes are not defined in the draft municipal rules, but most find place in the draft PUDA building code.

It would be a difficult exercise, more so on the ground, to formulate and implement unified building codes because of different needs and history of building codes in the two jurisdictions.

First Published: Feb 10, 2018 22:00:38

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