New Delhi’s Lutyens Bungalow Zone — arguably India’s most privileged urban enclave — is set to shrink, and the country’s capital will witness a real estate paradigm shift. Lutyens Bungalow Zone (LBZ) houses the country’s political super elite as well as residences of some of India’s richest business barons. But the Delhi Urban Art Commission (DUAC) — a body that takes big calls on the city’s development — has dismissed objections from conservationists and prominent Delhiites and has recommended that eight super-posh residential areas be excluded from LBZ.
This means relaxations of the floor area ratio (FAR) for these soon-to-be ex-Lutyens addresses and the possible arrival of highrises in areas known for grand low-rise residences. Also, since the Lutyens ‘premium’ on real estate prices in these areas may get reduced or may go, new building activity will get an additional boost.
Industry captains with LBZ residences include LN Mittal, Naveen Jindal, KP Singh, Sunil Mittal, Shashi and Ravi Ruia of the Essar Group, Malvinder and Shivinder Singh, and Analjit Singh.
The political and industrial super elites’ residences will remain in the smaller LBZ, but many of Delhi’s wealthiest residences will lose the tag of being in LBZ. People familiar with the DUAC panel’s final report on LBZ told ET superposh areas set to be excluded from Lutyens are: Golf Links, Jor Bagh, Sunder Nagar, Chanakyapuri, Panchsheel Marg, Sardar Patel Marg, Ashoka Road and Bengali Market. The report is with the Union urban development ministry, and it says LBZ’s square area should come down from 28.73 sq km to 23.60 sq km. This restricts LBZ to the original British Raj era plan, authored by Edwin Lutyens in 1912.
The original Lutyens plan included the Capital’s heritage buildings and government buildings. In 1988, LBZ area of 25.88 sq km was demarcated for the first time. It was increased to 28.73 sq km in 2003. Inclusion in LBZ has sent real estate prices spiralling in new areas. People familiar with the report said DUAC had received objections that excluding certain areas from LBZ will mean “overcrowding,”a “change of character” for these areas. But the commission decided that LBZ needs to go back to its original plan.