Shimla: In a move that will benefit thousands of building owners across the state, the Himachal Cabinet has approved an amendment to the Himachal Pradesh Town and Country Planning Rules, 2014, allowing attic floors to be habitable. Previously, attics were not considered floors and could not be used as living spaces. However, with the new amendment, attics can be made livable and fitted with electricity and water connections.

Now the height of the building’s attic will be 3.05 meters (10 feet). Earlier its height was 2.70 meters (about seven feet). The big news is that earlier the attic was not considered a floor. Now, along with considering it a floor, people will be able to make the attic livable. Electricity and water connections can also be installed in it.

This arrangement will also be applicable to old buildings in Shimla city. Those buildings will also be regulated. Thousands of building owners in Shimla city will benefit from the state government’s decision. Earlier, permission was not given to make rooms in the attic. If any building owner increased the height from the center of the attic, their buildings could not be regulated.

However, this decision raises questions over the issue of illegal construction in Shimla city, as many building owners have flouted the existing building codes and constructed additional floors without proper permissions. The government’s decision to allow attics to be habitable may exacerbate the illegal construction issue, as building owners could potentially use this loophole to create additional living spaces without proper permits or oversight. It remains to be seen how the government plans to address this potential issue.

Decision violation of the Poll code and NGT orders: Suresh Bharadwaj

The BJP has begun to question the decision to increase the size of the attic in the cabinet. Former Urban Development Minister and BJP leader Suresh Bharadwaj said that the Shimla Municipal Corporation has enforced the code of conduct for the Shimla MC Elections. On the other hand, the National Green Tribunal has imposed a ban on the construction of more than two and a half floors in the Shimla planning area. The Congress government has made this decision to attract people to their side during the municipal elections, which is a violation of the NGT’s orders. It is known that the state government has approved the amendment to the Himachal Pradesh Urban and Rural Planning Rules 2014 in the cabinet meeting.