More than a year after the civic administration tabled the revised redevelopment policy for civic markets in the city, it is yet to receive a go-ahead from the civic improvements committee.
On Friday, the civic improvements committee, which clears proposals and policies related to land issues, deferred the policy for a third time this year, saying it is not commercially viable and developers would not come forward to redevelop existing markets. The committee has demanded a revised policy to be placed before it next month.
Redevelopment of more than 25 markets owned by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in island city and suburbs is stuck due to differences between the corporators and the administration. Civic officials claim that the corporators are speaking for developers instead of the corporation.
“The policy was revised such that the BMC gets a share from the redevelopment. If corporators’ demands are accepted in toto, the civic body will not reap any benefit from this redevelopment deal,'” said an official, on condition of anonymity.
Civic improvements committee chairman Ram Barot said the premium, which would have to be paid by developers as per the ready reckoner rates of the area, should be as per the rates that were prevalent in 2010. “According to the ready reckoner rates, the developers would have to pay 200% premium to the civic body which is too high. It needs to be brought down to make it the deal more reasonable for developers,” said Dnyanmurti Sharma, BJP corporator and member of the committee.
Corporators also raised concerns about the floor space index (FSI) that the policy sets forth for redevelopment. “There is an FSI of four to be granted to developers in island city but for suburbs, the policy provides an FSI of two. This disparity is not justified as the population in the suburbs is dense too. So more FSI should be made available,” added Sharma.
Some of the objections that were raised also pertained to those of the interests of market vendors. “The policy is ambiguous about the allotment of market units to vendors after the market is redeveloped. The vendors should ideally be given the ground floor and not the top floors,” said Vaishnavi Sarfare from Maharashtra Navnirman Sena.
“Also, the policy only extends to the 25 markets that are shortlisted for redevelopment. What about the remaining markets, especially those on land that is reserved for markets but not yet acquired? A policy needs to be formulated on them soon,” added Sarfare.