CRZ rules boost development along Mumbai’s east coast
Skyscrapers and high-rises are likely to dot the city’s eastern waterfront, thanks to the recently issued Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) notification 2018 that gives maximum windfall to the Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT).
The CRZ notification 2018, which supersedes the 2011 notification, allows development close to the coast. It also grants floor space index (FSI) for CRZ-II areas – developed areas close to the coast – according to the regulations of the town planning authority. Of the 966 hectares between Wadala and Sassoon Docks along the east coast, where the development has been planned, 719.04 hectares fall under CRZ-II. And MbPT, the special planning authority for project, in its recently-released draft proposal has proposed a gross FSI between 1 and 4 for residential and commercial development along the stretch. This means, the CRZ notification effectively opens up prime realty along the seafront for redevelopment, in an election year.
FSI is the ratio of total buildable area to the size of the plot, which dictates how tall the building can be.
The eastern waterfront is almost four times the size of Girangaon (243 hectares), the erstwhile mill land area in central Mumbai, which was opened for development nearly 15 years ago. The earlier CRZ notification had allowed FSI for CRZ-II areas, 1.33 in the island city and 1 in the suburbs, as per the 1991 municipal development control regulations.
With an FSI of 4, MbPT has proposed affordable housing under the policies of the state and Centre, development of a central business district, hotels and offices. While they plan an FSI of 1.33-1.5 for units related to health care, port activities and fish industries, water transport terminals may get an FSI of 2.
Sanjay Bhatia, chairman, MbPT, said, “The new notification will help in development of the eastern waterfront, as we have proposed a higher FSI for varying activities.”
Bhatia said relaxing the no-development zone along the sea to 20m, instead of the earlier 50m, will further aid in developing tourist destinations such as the upcoming Kanhoji Angre Island, 23km south of Gateway of India.
In May 2018, a month after the draft CRZ notification 2018 was issued, the Maharashtra government made MbPT the special planning authority for the area, eliminating the city corporation’s role in its planning and development. As per the new notification, the port authority has further leeway to amend the FSI, if need be, subject to the approval of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. With the new plan, MbPT aims to transform the eastern waterfront as a tourist hub in the city, with public parks, marinas, water-transport, fish tourism and development of heritage precincts. The plan is open for public scrutiny till January 26.
CRZ notification also allows redevelopment of 290 slum pockets in CRZ-II across the city, besides koliwadas. Gopal D Chiplunkar, a member of the Practising Engineers Architects and Town Planners Association, said, “The new rules enhance FSI along the coastline, paving the way for more high-rises.”
Town planners have termed it commercial exploitation of land, which will have detrimental effects. “It will wipe out the indigenous communities of the city such as fishermen, who will be left with nothing,” said Pankaj Joshi, executive director, Urban Design Research Institute, a city-based body of town planners.