The city’s old character, which is still surviving in its existing old fishermen colonies and East Indian villages, is likely to be bulldozed soon to make way for redevelopment.
The state’s urban development department has made way for a proposal to give extra Floor Space Index (FSI) of 1.5 or 2 to all gaothans and koliwadas in Mumbai.
This will change the character of some of the finest heritage homes in the city as old homes and bungalows will give way to high rises.
An amendment to the Development Control Regulation 33(19) was approved by Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh on Monday. The notification will be released by the Urban Development Department within a week, said a senior official.
It states that FSI of 1.5 will be granted to redevelopment of structures in gaothan, which are in front of roads with width of less than 9 metres or 29 feet.
The houses which are on roads with a width of over 9 meters or 29 feet will get FSI up to 2.
An FSI is an indicator of how high a developer can build on a plot. An FSI of 2 — which is proposed — would mean that the total constructed area of a building is twice the area of the plot on which it is built.
Currently, FSI in gaothan areas is frozen at 1 in the suburbs and 1.33 in the city.
This move is applicable to areas such as the Worli koliwada, Pali village in Bandra and Khar village.
Many of the old residents and citizen groups in these areas have objected to the haphazard redevelopment being carried out in their villages by violating building norms.
“First, upgrade civic infrastructure and then allow further buildings. We would like to see proper structured development of gaothans. This will just destroy the old character of gaothans,” said Shyama Kulkarni, chairperson of H West Ward Citizens Trust.
This is one among several decisions taken by the UDD that will change the skyline of the city drastically.
Urban planners have cautioned against such rampant change in building norms without improving on the infrastructure like storm water drains, water supply, sewerage and roads.