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A Comprehensive Account of Building Norms in Delhi


  • Building Permits

  • Area and Height of building

  • Structures exempted from Floor Area Ratio (FAR) Calculations

General Sunday, 26th March 2017   Editor: Vikas Tawar

Building bye laws, formulated by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) in 1983 is applicable to all the building activities under the administration of DDA except in JJ, resettlement colonies, unauthorized colonies to be regularized, regularized urban villages and Rohini. Following rules are required to be followed according to the building bye laws:

1.    Building Permit:
A building permit from DDA is required to erect, alter or demolish any building. Any person who wants to have a building permit must submit notice of the same, including site plan, services plan, buildings plan, specifications, certificate of supervision and ownership title and other documents as specified by the authority. All the plans must be signed by the owner or a licensed architect. Building permit fees at the rate of Rs. 100 per sq. m of the covered area must also be submitted along with the notice. The authority may accept, reject or recommend certain alterations to the notice. If the authority does not revert within 15 days of submission of the notice, it will be deemed to have been sanctioned if the person inform of such delay to the authority.


The permit once accepted remains valid for 2 years in case of upto 4 storeyed residential, commercial and industrial buildings and for 3 years in case of larger complexes.

2.    Commencement of Construction: 
Before commencing the construction, the builder must submit the following notices to DDA before the expiry of the validity of the permit:

•    Notice for commencement of work
•    Notice for covering up underground drain and sanitary work
•    Notice for completion of drain, sanitary and water supply

3.    General Building Requirements:
•    The minimum size of the building should be in accordance with the master plan and land development rules and regulations of DDA.
•    No building must be deprived of the means of access in the construction process.
•    The road bordering the building on front must be at least 9 m broad.
•    6 m wide spaces must surround the building, the layout of which must be made in consultation with the Chief Fire Officer and Delhi Fire Service.
•    Main entrance of the building should not be less than 5 m.

4.    Area and Height:

Maximum height of the building must be less than the total of 1.5 times the width of the road adjacent to it and front open spaces.

5.    Structures exempted from Floor Area Ratio (FAR) Calculations:
•    A mamti over stair case on the top floor
•    Machine room for lift
•    Well and well structures
•    Plant nursery
•    Water pool 
•    Swimming pol
•    Tank
•    Fountain
•    Bench
•    Overhead water tank
•    Open shafts
•    Watchman’s cabin

6.    Parking Spaces:
One open or closed car space must be 92.93 sq. m of the covered area. 50per cent of the open space must be left for landscaping and this space should not be included in the calculation of parking area. If the parking spaces had to be provided in the basement, it would require at least two ramps of adequate width and slope.

7.    Room:
The minimum floor area of the room must be 9.5 sq. m, except for hostels. Minimum size and width of the room must be 7.5 sq. m and 2.4 sq. m, respectively, whereas, the maximum height should not be more than 4 m. Minimum size and width of a bathroom is supposed to be 1.8 sq. m and 1.2 m, respectively.

8.    Roofs and Basements:
Roofs must have sufficient rain water pipes to ensure proper channelization of rain water away from the building. Minimum height of the basement must be 2.4 m. Kitchens and bathroom would be allowed in the basement only if there is no chance of flooding of sewage.

Once all the above provisions along with the provisions for chimneys, exits, doorways, stairs, corridors, fire protection, etc. are satisfied, builder would submit the notice of completion along with the following documents to the authority:
•    Copy of lease deed
•    Copy of sewer connection permission
•    Clearance from chief fire office, Delhi
•    Clearance from chief controller of explosive, Nagpur
•    Clearance from DESU
•    Structural stability certificate signed by licensed architecture
•    Certificate from lift manufacturer
•    Certificate from air conditioning engineer

Thereafter, DDA would sanction or reject the occupancy, after reviewing the notice of completion. If DDA accepts the notice of completion, it would send the occupancy certificate within 60 days from the receipt of notice of completion. Any person shall not occupy the building before the occupancy certificate is issued.

2016 Amendment

These by laws of 1983 were revised in March, 2016 to make the laws more user friendly and narrow down the number of authorities which give approvals. 

According to the Urban Development Minister, M. Venkaiah Naidu, the 1983 rules were complex which led to the changes made to them in 2016 to simplify the building process.

Accordingly, a new single-window mechanism has been implemented where one common online application form would replace the applications which earlier were sent to different authorities like Delhi Fire Services, Delhi Jal Board, Delhi Urban Arts Commission, Ministries of forest, railways, defence, etc. This has shortened the time of granting approval to just 30 days. Applicants can now make a single online payment to the urban local body instead of making separate payments to different departments. Moreover, owners no longer need to obtain the sanction of building plans for residential plots of up to 105 sq. m. They just need to submit an undertaking along with fees and other documents to begin the construction. 

With these amendments the number of documents involved in the process has been reduced to just 14 from 40.Thus, the building rules are now simplified, relieving the owners of the burden of excess documentation and legal sanctions.

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