Sky is the limit for Mumbai; FSI norms set to be relaxed | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Sky is the limit for Mumbai; FSI norms set to be relaxed

mumbai Updated: Feb 17, 2015 00:42 IST
Kunal Purohit
Mumbai news

The draft blueprint for Mumbai’s development over the next 20 years envisages a city growing vertically along transit corridors – especially near railway, metro and monorail stations and along highways – with a variable floor space index (FSI) ranging from 2.5 to 8.

FSI of 2.5 to 8 means the structure coming up on a plot can have a built up area 2.5 to 8 times its size, paving the way for soaring high rises. For more than two decades, the city has had a base uniform FSI of 1.33 in the island city and 1 in the suburbs, which is proposed to be raised to 2.5 uniformly.

The civic body doesn’t seem to have yet linked FSI to an area’s infrastructure. This could cause problems where infrastructure is crumbling as a result of vertical growth. Laying itself open to the charge of lopsided development, the BMC has also proposed to lower the benchmark for providing open spaces in the city. In fact, it proposes development of Aarey Milk Colony, the city’s last major green lung, as an economic and infrastructure zone.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation claims its draft development plan for 2014-2034, presented to the group leaders of various parties in the civic body on Monday, is aimed at spurring economic growth by encouraging planned vertical growth of the country’s financial capital.

Keeping the focus on developing transit corridors, the draft plan proposes purely commercial development within 300 metres of these corridors and allowing residential construction beyond that. It also plans to cut down on the parking provisions in buildings in these areas to discourage private transport.

The overarching vision of the BMC draft plan, which will now be debated and finalized, claims to be competitive, inclusive and sustainable. BMC has pegged the cost of implementing the DP that will be valid for 20 years at 5.80 lakh crores.

According to the civic body’s map, areas that will see high use of FSI include Churchgate and Hutatma Chowk, Dadar-Parel, Kurla, Ghatkopar, parts of Andheri, Malad and Borivali, which have high transit density and along proposed transport corridors and business hubs.

HT had first reported that BMC was considering variable FSI for Mumbai focusing around transit corridors and central business districts, on the lines of global cities such as Singapore and New York.

The draft also proposes to reduce the city’s dependence on land reservation to implement the development plan. Instead, it has now come up with the idea of making it mandatory for plots undergoing development to hand over amenity space if they fulfill certain criteria. This is mandatory for plots of more than 2,000 square metres or where industrial use is being changed to residential/commercial as well as in development of cotton textile mills. For development of plots over 2000 square metre, 10% of the built up area is be handed over to the civic body for lower income housing and project affected people.

Aiming to look at the city’s traffic congestion issues, the draft DP has also proposed to increase the land under roads to 20% of the city’s total land.

The plan also promises to make the city disabled-friendly with a fresh set of Development Control rules (DCRs).
BMC chief Sitaram Kunte didn’t divulge much but said that the civic body had tried to make a competitive plan. “All Mumbaikars must see the draft DP carefully. We have tried to fit the plan into the broad framework of a competitive, inclusive and sustainable city.

The draft plan will soon be opened up for citizens to respond within 60 days. A planning committee, consisting of three corporators and four State-appointed experts, will then hear all these suggestions and objections and decide on them. The committee will recommend the plan to the corporation which will have to approve it and send it to the state government, which will have a final say on it. This process can take up to a year or more.