Municipal commissioner Sitaram Kunte has set up a special technical advisory committee (TAC) following last year’s Supreme Court order which said developers should mandatorily set aside 15-25 per cent of the plot size at the ground level towards open recreational spaces.
The committee will comprise retired civic officials who have experience in dealing with building proposals and development planning department of the civic administration. “There are challenges in interpreting and implementing the new rules which are introduced through various amendments or court rulings. This committee will specifically deal with understanding the legalities of new rules and how to implement them in the building proposals received by the BMC,” said a senior civic official.
Civic officials said workload has led to a delay in approval of proposals by various departments related to building proposals. “Such a committee can help expedite the approval process by incorporating new rules and regulations introduced by the BMC,” said a civic official.
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The court had also held a rule permitting 1.5 metre passage on small plots under redevelopment as a fire hazard and thus invalid. A minimum 6 metre passage is necessary on plots up to 600 sq metres, unless the plot abuts a road, the apex court said and directed that the chief fire officer must certify the accessibility for each reconstruction proposal.
“Committee members need to be well acquainted with not only the DCR regulations but also of the regulatory framework which should be applied in specific cases,” said a civic official. The recent ruling has stalled 50-60 redevelopment proposals. Such a committee can vet a proposal and implement the specific regulations in order to allow the development keeping in line with the court ruling,” explained an official.
However, Practising Engineers & Architects Townplanners Associaton (PEATA) president Shirish Sukhatme said that, “the committee should ideally also include NGOs, activists, architects as issues of open spaces and fire exits cannot be interpreted from just the administrative perspective. It will be one-sided”.