With more than 6,784 hectares of no-development zone land being opened up in the draft DP, the prospect of reckless development looms large. Here’s why: the DP proposes to increase the floor space index (FSI) of the opened up land from anywhere between 400% and 6,900%.
The FSI allotted for these areas in the 1991 DP – a minimum of 0.05 and a maximum of 0.4 – has now been increased to between 2 and 3.5. This means construction will become more vertical, as builders can use twice to 3.5 times the area of the plot.
The 1991 DP had allotted a maximum of 0.4 FSI for IT parks and a 0.2 FSI for educational and medical facilities. The low FSI ensured construction in these areas was controlled, barring a few exceptions.
While the1991 DP had only allotted an FSI of 0.05 for residential structures on these lands, the proposed DP raises this to between 2 and 3.5.
The high FSI proposed in the draft DP could lead to a boom in residential realty in areas like Madh, Erangal, Powai, Dindoshi and parts of Dahisar and Wadala – all of which until now saw low-rise development.
Many fear reckless development on these lands because of the size of the area that the DP proposes to open up – nearly 70% of the total area occupied by residential properties at present. A conservative estimate of the worth of this land is around Rs7 lakh crore, according market watchers. “The government has to ensure the land is not frittered away. If the government sells off the land, it will lead to more unaffordable housing that will only benefit private entities like builders,” said Pankaj Kapoor, managing director, Liases Foras, a real estate research firm.
A study conducted by the urban design research institute (UDRI), which HT reported about on Saturday, showed 6,784 hectares of land previously marked as no-development zones (NDZ), have been covertly opened up for commercial and residential development by the proposed DP.
However, urban planner at Mumbai Transformation Support Unit, Sulakshana Mahajan, said the increased FSI will not affect the city, as the numbers indicate. “The 1991 DP allotted low FSIs, but in reality, they only remained on paper. Rather than opposing the move to open up these lands, we must deliberate about ways to ensure the development there is planned and transparent,” she said.
Vidyadhar K Phatak, chief advisor to the BMC on the DP, also defended the hike in the FSI.
“We found many NDZ areas are already occupied by both legal and illegal structures. Hence, the actual consumed FSI in these areas has been much more than the allotted FSI.”