A month after the amended township policy for Pune was approved by the state government, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan has cleared the decks for implementing the policy in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR).
The amendment, the third such since the township policy was first approved in August 2008, will now allow builders to construct residential real estate on 40 per cent of the land in even non-residential zones, as long as they develop the rest of the plot for the earmarked purpose such as commercial, industrial and public or semi-public uses.
Moreover, the condition in the original rule, requiring contiguity of the entire 40 hectare (100 acres) plus land for township development, has now been relaxed. The new rule says that if the land is divided by water bodies such as canals or nullahs, existing or proposed roads or railways, “then such area shall be considered contiguous, unbroken and uninterrupted” if the developer constructs connecting roads or bridges.
“We had issued a draft notice proposing these modifications in January this year. Following the process of inviting suggestion and objections, CM Prithviraj Chavan approved the policy on Monday,” said a senior state government official.
While the policy is not applicable to Mumbai itself due to the paucity of large swathes of land, a total of 13 township projects have been cleared by the state government in areas in the MMR that are outside the BMC limits . These include projects at Ambivli, Khalapur, Bhiwandi, Karjat, Panvel, Devgad, Pen, Ambarnath and Alibaug. Some of these are by major realtors such as Indiabulls real estate and Lodha developers. Three more projects have been granted locational clearance, including one by Hiranandani developers in Thane.
Developers taking up such projects in in areas that can be urbanised enjoy the benefit of a higher than standard floor space index (FSI) of 1.5 to 1.7 of the plot area. The township policy is also applicable to Raigad, Pune, Nashik, Sangli, Kolhapur and Aurangabad.