Buying a flat in the suburbs will now get even more expensive, after the Bombay High Court on Thursday struck down the state’s decision to increase the Floor Space Index (FSI) for suburban constructions to 1.33 from 1.
The FSI determines the maximum amount of construction that’s allowed on a plot of land. An FSI of 1 means that on a 1,000 sq ft plot, construction cannot be more than 1,000 sq ft.
All new projects have to adhere to the ruling, which came after the April 2008 Government Resolution (GR) was challenged by resident Amit Maru.
This means builders will now have to buy more FSI through Transfer of Developmental Rights (TDR) from the open market. The maximum permissible FSI for suburbs is 2 of which 1 is permitted by default, and builders can acquire the additional 1 through TDR.
In the 2008-09 Budget, the state had decided to offer an additional 0.33 FSI on payment of premium, which reduced the amount of FSI builders had to acquire from private parties. This had, to some extent, reined in TDR prices.
Under the GR, the premium to be paid for the additional FSI ranged from Rs 7,000 per sq ft in areas such as Manori to Rs 23,000 in Bandra.
“We have to pay extra money to buy TDR from the open market and will pass this burden to consumers,” said Sunil Mantri, president of Maharashtra Chamber of Housing Industry and owner of a construction firm.
The court struck down the GR saying it’s against the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act, 1966, as it does not have a provision for levying a premium.