Ex-civic chiefs oppose Aarey hub, FSI hike | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Ex-civic chiefs oppose Aarey hub, FSI hike

A day after revenue minister Eknath Khadse criticised the draft development plan (DP) 2034 for the city, former municipal commissioners Sharad Kale and DM Sukhtankar also voiced their disapproval.

mumbai Updated: Feb 25, 2015 00:47 IST
HT Correspondent

A day after revenue minister Eknath Khadse criticised the draft development plan (DP) 2034 for the city, former municipal commissioners Sharad Kale and DM Sukhtankar also voiced their disapproval.

They want the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to examine other options, both within and outside Mumbai, to add to the city’s land. They particularly criticised the proposals to open up Aarey Colony land for residential and commercial construction and to increase the floor space index (FSI) in the city up to 8.

Kale and Sukhtankar were speaking at a public meeting organised by the Urban Design Research Institute (UDRI) on Tuesday to analyse the draft DP.

Both held the view that the proposed exploitation of green space for construction and the increase in FSI would add to the city’s density.

“While variable FSI is a good concept and reduces the scope for manipulation while allocating it to builders, there is a need to increase available land space. Alternative sources of additional land need to be considered to reduce density in the city,” said Sukhtankar, who is also a former chief secretary.

He said accounting for the development proposed at the eastern waterfront owned by the Mumbai Port Trust in the DP and exploring the Gorai Manori Uttan area for uses other than tourism development should be examined as an alternative to the development of Aarey land.

“It has been long recognised and acknowledged that the problems of Mumbai cannot be solved within Mumbai. A crossover should be made to the Mumbai Metropolitan Region where development needs to be extended,” said Kale.

According to UDRI’s assessment, the civic body’s assumption of minimum 27 sqm of housing area in the DP 2034 was questionable and much higher than the minimum 25 sqm of housing area stipulated by the ministry of housing and urban poverty alleviation.

“The proposal for Aarey Colony would have a grave, negative impact on the availability of green space and will completely go against the objective of a healthy, livable city envisioned in the DP,” said Kale.