Mumbai civic body reconsiders FSI cap after architects object | Hindustan Times
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Mumbai civic body reconsiders FSI cap after architects object

The BMC has sought a clarification from the state government over its recent notification limiting floor space index for a plot.

mumbai Updated: Feb 01, 2018 10:08 IST
Tanushree Venkatraman
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to take another look at its decision to enforce a cap on floor space index (FSI) in the suburbs.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to take another look at its decision to enforce a cap on floor space index (FSI) in the suburbs. (HT File)

Following serious objections raised by architects and town planners in the city, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to take another look at its decision to enforce a cap on floor space index (FSI) in the suburbs.

The BMC has sought a clarification from the state government over its recent notification limiting FSI for a plot. Civic chief Ajoy Mehta confirmed that he has written to the urban development department of the state government over the norms to be followed.

FSI is the ratio of the total built-up area to the size of the plot. It indicates how high a developer can build on a plot.

The state’s recent notification on January 8 put a cap on maximum permissible FSI in the city and suburbs, including Transferred Development Rights and additional FSI on premium, in the range of 2 to 2.5. Earlier, projects handing over a part of their plot as the setback for the widening of roads were granted a compensatory FSI over and above the FSI of 2-2.5, which they were entitled to.

Mehta said, “The proposed modification makes FSI permitted on a plot limited. According to an order passed before the revised Development Plan was published, stringent of the proposed and new modifications have to be enforced.” The Development Plan (DP) 2034 is currently pending with the state government for an approval.

Last week, Mehta held a meeting with the Practising Engineers, Architects and Town Planners (PEATA) and the National Real Estate Council Development Council (NAREDCO) who had taken serious objections over the BMC’s January 10 circular which asked all engineers of the building proposals and development plan departments to enforce a higher cap on FSI. It has also asked officials to revoke building permissions that were issued in contradiction to the proposed modification of the state.

According to PEATA members, enforcement of the cap would throw many redevelopment projects out of gear. It could also affect the sale component of 40% of redevelopment projects in the suburbs. Vilas Nagalkar, an architect and member of PEATA said, “BMC needs to consider all applicable regulations of FSI instead of looking at the isolated provision of the government notification alone.”

Nagalkar said that DCR 34 makes it clear that the additional FSI granted for setback does “not withstand any other regulation”.

Vijay Phulkar, another senior architect from the city, said the government notification has been interpreted wrongly by the civic body. “The circular will not stand in any court of law as it has been interpreted wrongly, without any thought,” Phulkar said.

However, urban planners said the state government decision was significant to keep control on haphazard vertical development. Pankaj Joshi, executive director, urban design research institute, said, “The circular is fair enough as owners who have already got the incentives for their plots cannot keep claiming for additional FSI as the project lingers on and policies change. There has to be a certain limit.”