Kamala Mills: Mumbai civic body to probe FSI and IT policy violations
If violations are found, licenses will be revoked and businesses will be shut.mumbai Updated: Feb 21, 2018 07:50 IST
The entire estate of Kamala Mills Limited, with all the establishments housed within its compound at Lower Parel, have now come under the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) scanner, after the December 29 fire at two restaurants, which killed 14 and exposed grave violations of civic rules.
As part of its enquiry into the fire, the BMC has set up a fact finding committee to probe if there is any misuse of floor space index (FSI) rules and violation of provisions under state’s Information Technology (IT) policy at the Kamala Mills compound, which is classified as an IT park, and hence given FSI perks.
The probe will bring scores of commercial setups at Kamala Mills on the radar, including media houses, corporate offices, finance centres, pubs and restaurants.
The fact finding committee set to look into the matter is headed by chief engineer Vinod Chithore and includes officials from BMC’s department of industries and a representative of the Maharashtra’s government’s IT department.
A senior civic official privy to the enquiry said, “The BMC cannot determine what has been listed as an IT premise and what the criteria is for this. So we will need inputs from the Maharashtra government.” The committee is expected to submit its findings to the civic chief Ajoy Mehta in three months.
The lawyer of one of the owners of Kamala Mills, Ramesh Govani, was unavailable for comment.
Following the fire, Mehta had submitted a detailed enquiry report to chief minister Devendra Fadnavis hinting at misuse of the FSI under the IT policy. The BMC had asked for three months to probe the details and verify this.
At the time of redevelopment, Kamala Mills was granted an incentive FSI of 1.33 in addition to the zonal FSI of 1.33, as the mill compound chose to redevelop under the IT Policy. Builders are granted this incentive under the IT policy on the condition that 80% of the built up area will be used for IT purposes. Only 20% of the area can be used for commercial and entertainment purposes.
According to a senior civic official , “Kamala Mills was given 100 per cent extra FSI of 2.66, to promote the IT industry. It will be examined whether more than 20% of it was used for commercial and non-IT purposes. The committee will examine documents of all establishments in Kamala Mills to verify this. If violations are found it can result in revoking licenses of businesses and shutting them down.”
In case of violations, the committee’s probe is likely to indict more officials, especially from the building proposals’ department, who are responsible of keeping tab of such violations and approving plans.
First Published: Feb 21, 2018 07:48 IST