Concerns expressed by city's Congress-NCP legislators over the 'draconian' Development Control Rules (DCR) may force chief minister Prithviraj Chavan's to put the changes on hold.
In July, municipal commissioner Subodh Kumar had proposed a revamp to parts of the Development Control Regulations, 1991, which included the provision to charge 100% premium on free-of-FSI (floor space index) areas like balconies, flower beds, extra lifts, lofts and verandah. Currently, builders are not entitled to charge consumers for these areas.
Legislators alleged that the new rules would stem the flow of new housing stock through redevelopment of old housing societies and bungalows. They termed the proposal as the 'DCR for the rich' and targeted BMC chief Subodh Kumar during a meeting with Chavan. The CM promised to consult legislators from the ruling parties before clearing the rules.
Congress MLA from Bandra, Baba Siddique, said, "The new DCR is draconian and will affect the poor and middle class badly". Siddiqui opposed Kumars' proposal to take money for regularising violations such as unauthorised use of free-of-FSI areas. "It's like asking a thief to steal and then pay up," he said. "The civic body should act against builders instead of encouraging them to pay up for mistakes."
"People have been getting free FSI for balconies since 50 years. You cannot change it overnight and extract atrocious amounts," said Nawab Malik of the NCP.
Legislators also opposed the plan to reduce floor height in new buildings. "Developers of mill lands would not face this restriction. But a middle-class society that goes for redevelopment will be forced to live in matchboxes," Siddiqui pointed out.
Congress MLA Amin Patel said that the condition stipulating a minimum distance between the two buildings was impractical since 90% of the plots in the city were very smaller in size.
Legislators also pointed out the new DCR could reduce podium parking lots in new buildings. "Three hundred new cars are registered in the city every day. We can't continue to park cars on the roads," said Charansingh Sapra. He also urged the CM to implement allotment of the 0.33 to the suburbs in order to check the transfer of development rights (TDR) racket. "The CM promised a decision in one month's time," Sapra told HT.
BMC commissioner Subodh Kumar said, "This was a meeting for their [legislators'] views on proposed changes.
No reply or debate was contemplated".