The contentious issue of Floor Space Index (FSI) has resurfaced after the Bombay High Court struck down the state government’s decision to offer additional FSI of .33 to developers in the suburbs.
For years, both developers and real estate experts have been lobbying for extra FSI, which they say will help mitigate housing woes and also control spiralling realty prices in the metropolis.
Pujit Agrawal, managing director, Orbit Corporation Limited said low FSI results in proliferation of slums. “Low FSI means less housing stock and since formal housing is not possible, people resort to creating slums,” Agarwal said. Adi Godrej, chairman, Godrej Properties, recently told journalists that he supported higher FSI in metros.
“Mumbai is among the three to five leading cities in the world where demand for housing is very strong. You can’t develop a city with such low FSI,” Godrej had said. “Several global cities have six to eight FSI. Why should not we have the same here?”
Godrej said higher FSI can be taxed and the money channelised for infrastructure development.
Experts say higher FSI will help control real estate prices. “There is a complete mismatch between demand and supply and hence these exorbitant prices,” said Pankaj Kapoor, managing director, Liasas Foras, a leading real estate research firm. Kapoor said studies showed that higher FSI is the only solution to solve the housing problem.
The island city enjoys FSI of 1.33 but suburbs have to stay content with 1. Since the city has virtually no open spaces and has several dilapidated buildings, it can get an FSI of 2.5. Slum rehabilitation projects get an FSI of 3.