Urban Development Ministry for mixed land use of such spaces
The Union Urban Development Ministry wants metro rail systems, including the Delhi Metro, to undertake more dynamic evaluation of properties along the metro corridors. Taking note of the appreciation in their property value, the Ministry wants the metro systems to increase their revenue generation methods and tap into the additional funds generated thereby.
It has also advocated relaxing of norms related to the floor area ratio (FAR) in such properties so that they could be used for accommodating more businesses and generating more money for the metro.
“Metros should generate their own resources rather than depend on loans and budgetary allocations. They have been advised property development. Metro systems have huge stations and depots that are spread over large acres of land. They need only the ground floor spaces for depots, and because they are close to city areas, the upper floors at the depots can be used for opening hotels, cinema halls and offices,” said Urban Development Ministry Secretary Sudhir Krishna.
Advocating mixed land use, Mr. Krishna said: “As of now these stations and depots come under the transport zone, but if these properties are to be used for generating revenue there should be changes made to the land use Bill. These metro properties also have ample parking spaces, and a lot of business can be discharged from here. Additional revenue generation will also help in repaying the loans.”
Mr. Krisha said mixed land use should be liberal because it helps lessen the burden on land by allowing the use of spaces for additional use. “Making use of the existing structures like stations and depots we can reduce the burden on land, also it will be environmentally better. FAR should be increased along the transit corridors so that more people can reside along the corridor and there is better land use,” he said.
On dynamic evaluation of properties, Mr. Krisha said: “We have noticed that property prices along transport corridors like the metro and even the bus corridors appreciate. This appreciation should also be factored in for revenue mobilisation and the dynamic evaluation should be reflected in the tax collections.”
The extra money that will be generated from property development and by allowing more businesses along the metro corridors can be used for funding other projects. “The extra money that is made can be set aside as a special pool of funds that then be ploughed into newer projects,” Mr. Krishna pointed out.
On the metro's performance, Mr. Krishna said preliminary information has revealed that the Delhi Metro's utilisation is more than what was expected in the detailed project report. “In the DPR it was projected that the average use of the metro will be for up to 1.5 km, but now it is about 4 km, because people are able to go further for economic and social activities,” he said.