Add staircase, elevators in FSI: BMC tells builders | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Add staircase, elevators in FSI: BMC tells builders

This is a decision that, if implemented, could stunt the height of new buildings in Mumbai. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided not to exempt common areas like staircases and elevators from floor space index (FSI) calculations. So far, builders could leave these areas out of the FSI computation by paying a premium.

mumbai Updated: Aug 03, 2010 00:54 IST
Naresh Kamath

This is a decision that, if implemented, could stunt the height of new buildings in Mumbai.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided not to exempt common areas like staircases and elevators from floor space index (FSI) calculations. So far, builders could leave these areas out of the FSI computation by paying a premium.

The FSI of a plot decides how high a building on that plot can be. Staircases and elevators occupy at least 10 per cent of the FSI of a building. If the builders have to include this area in the FSI used, it leaves lesser space for flats and buildings will be shorter than planned.

Instead of building a 10-storey building with 40 flats, the builder may have to build eight floors with 32 flats. Builders warn that this could cause prices to rise because the saleable area will reduce.

The decision is a fallout of the Bombay High Court’s order that the BMC or the state cannot charge a premium for granting more FSI. The order was in connection with granting extra FSI of 0.33 in the suburbs but is also applicable to premium charged for exempting staircases and lifts from FSI. “Most projects are bound to become unviable,” said Pankaj Kapoor, managing director, Liasas Foras, a real estate research firm.

At least 300 projects are now stuck because the BMC has refused to clear them until developers include staircases in the FSI.

“Such delays are bound to harm the city’s development,” said Sunil Mantri, chairman, Maharashtra Chambers of Housing Industry, an apex body of developers. The state has decided to amend the Mumbai Regional Town Planning Act to grant an additional FSI of 0.33 to developers. Builders are hoping this amendment does not take away the exemption of staircases and elevators from calculating FSI.