In a move that will benefit lakhs of Mumbaiites in need of better housing, the state government has decided to review all rules pertaining to redevelopment in the city.
The state’s urban development department, headed by Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, has set up a study group that will examine all amendments made to Development Control Rules 33, including cluster redevelopment, redevelopment of old buildings and slum redevelopment, point out the lacunae and suggest changes.
The decision has been prompted by the slowdown in the property market, complaints by developers that projects under various redevelopment policies are stuck in red tape and allegations of corruption while drafting land development policies. The review can give a boost to redevelopment projects, reduce irregularities and help the state make more money.
The group, set up through a government resolution issued on September 10, will submit its report within a month.
The review could change the face of the city and its skyline as it is aimed at changing the way Floor Space Index (FSI) is handed out by the state government to private developers as incentive for taking up redevelopment projects. FSI is the ratio of total buildable area vis-à-vis the size of the plot – an indicator of how high a building can be constructed.
The eight-member study group includes urban development secretary Manu Kumar Srivastav, housing secretary Gautam Chatterjee, Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) commissioner Rahul Asthana, BMC commissioner Sitaram Kunte, SRA CEO Satish Gavai, besides the director of town planning and joint secretary of UDD.
The committee will look at whether there should be an upper limit to FSI in the city, it will review concessions granted to trusts (including educational institutes) for redevelopment, it will consider whether the premium paid by developers to state should be hiked and examine the problems planning authorities such as the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), MMRDA, Mhada and SRA face while implementing the rules.
“The study group is a precursor to an overhaul in the redevelopment policies. The government definitely needs a greater share in the realty pie through higher premium because all redevelopment is happening on state-owned land. At the same time, we need to make policies viable so that projects get faster clearances,” said a senior bureaucrat, on condition of anonymity.