Builders, Maharashtra govt divided over TDR draft policy

  • Naresh Kamath, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Jan 17, 2015 20:41 IST

Will the new draft policy of transfer of development rights (TDR) help discourage haphazard redevelopment of structures on narrow roads or is it just designed to help a handful of builders?

While the Maharashtra government and environmentalists have defended the draft, which offers higher floor space index (FSI) to large plots that can sustain adequate infrastructure, a majority of builders say it will paralyse the revamp process in the suburbs.

The TDR is generated when a landowner or developer surrenders his land for public purpose and offers to house the slum dwellers or those displaced in projects for free. In exchange, he gets the right to construct a proportional area to the north of this plot.

TDR is an important component in revamp in suburbs, as builders use it to double the existing FSI of 1 to 2. According to the revised rules, on narrow roads that are 9.15-13.4m wide, the builders can utilize an FSI of 1.5, instead of the current 2. The beneficiaries will be those projects that have roads that 30m wide.

Builders claim as the new proposal has linked the TDR to the size of the roads, and as a majority of roads are narrow, only big players with land holdings will benefit from the move. “The major players will benefit from the revised FSI of 2.5, compared to the earlier 2. As they have housing stock, people will be forced to buy from them,” said a builder, on condition of anonymity.

The Builders Association of India (BAI) has warned of a conflict-like situation. “Builders gain redevelopment rights, after wooing tenants with additional area and handsome corpus funds. The entire calculation will go haywire and there will be numerous litigations,” said Anand Gupta, spokesperson, BAI.

The state government, however, defended the policy. “We are looking for a long-term solution. We cannot have skyscrapers coming up on narrow roads with inadequate infrastructure,” said Ravindra Waikar, state minister for housing.

Environmentalist Debi Goenka said, “Although it is a good step, we need to conduct a review of the TDR policy. The builders are just transferring the TDR without giving any thought to infrastructure.”

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