Looking to tap slum redevelopment projects to create affordable housing, the Maharashtra government plans to increase the construction limit for slum redevelopment projects that are on plots spanning more than an acre.
The state urban development department on Friday issued a draft notification to increase Floor Space Index (FSI) given for large slum redevelopment projects to 4 from the current 3 granted under the slum redevelopment scheme.
FSI is ratio of the permissible built-up area to the plot area — that is, how much can be constructed on a given plot.
But there are caveats. The additional construction area will be given only for plots that are more than 4,000 square metres (or 1 acre) and abutting a road that is at least 18 metres wide. “We have deliberately put caveats of minimum plot size and road width for the projects to be eligible for higher FSI, as this will ensure there is no over-densification and a strain on available infrastructure near these plots,” said a senior official from the state urban development department.
The developer will be required to build low-cost homes for the economically weaker sections and lower-income groups using the additional FSI and hand these over to the state at the construction cost.
Officials said the affordable housing component may also be useful to accommodate squatters on the plot not eligible for free housing under the government’s slum rehabilitation scheme.
The slum redevelopment scheme was launched two decades ago with the intention of housing eight lakh families in five years; it has managed to rehabilitate a little over 1.5 lakh families until now. It allows private developers to house slum dwellers living in structures built before January 2000 in high-rises constructed on a portion of the plot the slum occupies. As an incentive, builders are granted a higher construction area and are allowed to commercially exploit the remaining public land free of cost. Under the scheme, existing norms permit granting an FSI of 4 only in cases where the tenement density is more than 650 per hectare, irrespective of the plot size.
But after this decision, plots over an acre will also be eligible for an FSI of 4, irrespective of the density.
The government has invited suggestions from the public.
The state grants an FSI of 4 only in two other schemes — cluster development within the island city and redevelopment of colonies of the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) across the island city and suburbs.
Here too, the FSI of 4 is only given for plots larger than 4,000 square metres and next to roads 18m wide.