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Rising high: Will it work?

india Updated: Feb 26, 2009 00:51 IST
Ketaki Ghoge
Ketaki Ghoge
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

The issue of dilapidated buildings and chawls and their redevelopment has long dominated poll planks. But this year there has been headway.

The state government’s decision to approve cluster development in the island city is likely to bring cheer to lakhs of tenants.

But wary urban planners say the move for unlimited Floor Space Index (FSI) is unsustainable in the long run.

A high-powered committee headed by municipal commissioner will scrutinise and clear all such cluster redevelopment proposals.

Officials are also worried about whether there will be many takers for the tedious cluster approach of redevelopment instead of the easier redevelopment of cessed buildings under the development control rules (DCR) 33 (7).

“DCR 33 (7) is less complicated. There are no restrictions like mandatory parking, amenities or open spaces. Landlords and developers will prefer this instead of the more complicated cluster approach,” admitted a senior bureaucrat, on condition of anonymity.

The redevelopment of cessed buildings allows for an incentive FSI of up to 70 per cent of that need to rehabilitate tenants or 2.5, whichever is more, to the developer. Every tenant has been assured of a free ownership home of 300 sq ft. Earlier they were to be given 225 sq ft houses.

The government worked out a cluster approach since redevelopment of cessed buildings was stuck in the Supreme Court. “It will lead to haphazard development because landlords and even tenants will prefer 33 (7) to 33 (9) since it will be quicker and less complex,” said urban planner V.K. Phatak.

He said only Mhada and the BMC would now opt for cluster redevelopment. He also questioned the basis of the scheme.

“The state has promised free homes for nearly 60 per cent tenants on the back of real estate, hoping builders can create and sell additional houses on commercial basis. How sustainable is this?” Phatak asked.

The move evoked mixed responses from builders.

Mayur Shah, managing director, Marathon Realty said: “Some projects like cluster development need more gestation period and hence concessions in premium payment should be made.”