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Rules will hit redevelopment, say developers

india Updated: Aug 02, 2011 01:32 IST
Naresh Kamath
Naresh Kamath
Hindustan Times
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The new civic housing rules will affect the redevelopment of old buildings and colonies across the city, say builders.

The reason: Most builders have offered incentives in the form of extra space and handsome corpus funds to get the developmental rights of old buildings.

Now, with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) capping the common spaces in a project to 25% of the total constructed area and that too at no discount unlike earlier, builders are likely to find several projects unviable.

"It is unjust to charge premium on the extra area that we are offering to existing tenants free of cost," said Rajesh Vardhan, managing director, Vardhaman Builders, which is involved in several redevelopment projects in south Mumbai. "If the incentives are removed, the whole project will become unviable and redevelopment will suffer."

For example, the minimum area set by the state government for rehabilitation houses is 300 sq ft, and in many cases, builders are offering 350 and some 750 sq ft.

Mumbadevi legislator Amin Patel, whose constituency is dotted with a large number of such dilapidated buildings, said the BMC should not have taken away the discount it earlier had for construction of amenities. "If a premium is charged, it will affect tenants badly," said Patel.

Not everyone agrees. "Greed and one upmanship are delaying the redevelopment process," said Baba Dalvi, owner, SG Dalvi and Associates, a leading architectural firm.

"The state has sanctioned 300 sq ft, but unreasonable demands by tenants are delaying the revamp."

Environmentalist Debi Goenka said: "The new policy seeks to plug many loopholes."

The Maharashtra Chambers of Housing Industry (MCHI) said there is no choice but to renegotiate if the policy gets the state's final nod.
The proposal has the state's initial approval, and now people's suggestions and opinion will be invited.

"We will have to make fresh plans and we fear that tenants will revoke consents that took us years to obtain," said Paras Gundecha, president, MCHI.

Rahul Shewale, civic standing committee chairman, said: "If a premium is charged, then the cost of projects will rise and it will be recovered from buyers."