To make housing units in Ahmedabad more accessible to individuals by reducing their cost, a research paper has suggested a few alterations to the city’s existing building byelaws.

A research paper by urban planners has alleged that rationalising Ahmedabad’s existing building regulations can reduce home costs by up to 34 percent and increase supply by nearly 75 percent, without compromising safety or lowering quality.

The move behind writing the paper is the belief that Ahmedabad’s existing building byelaws impose high costs on construction, making them less affordable for individuals belonging to the Low-Income Group (LIG) and the Middle Income Group (MIG). This phenomenon deprives them of access to legally-built homes, thus fueling slum formation.

The research paper suggests an alternative layout plan that can accommodate 1,120 residential units, built in 20 buildings of four floors each, with every floor comprising eight units. This is compared to the current affordable housing plan, as per which only 640 units are constructed.

The report goes on to state that reducing street width from 7 m and 9 m to 6 m and 4.5 m, respectively, will increase street space availability from 29 percent to around 32 percent. More space can be saved by decreasing the minimum distance between two buildings from the existing 4.5 m to 3 m. The report then proposes that the Floor Space Index (FSI) should be 1.8 instead of the presently-accepted 1.2 for optimal built-space usage.