In its latest amendment to the policy on public private parking lots (PPPLs) in the city, the state government has sweetened the deal for developers of such projects by allowing them to claim 50 per cent incentive for construction of such lots, irrespective of location.
As per the 2008 policy, under section 33 (24) of the Development Control Regulations, introduced to combat the dearth of public parking space in Mumbai, an additional 40 per cent Floor Space Index (FSI) is granted to builders as incentive for constructing PPPLs and handing these over to the BMC free of cost. A 50 per cent FSI incentive is granted for lots constructed near high footfall areas such as railway stations, government offices, and religious or tourists spots (with a cap of 4.0 FSI for island city and 3.0 FSI for suburbs).
Now, doing away with the clause that grades the incentive FSI developers can claim for their projects, the state has said the PPPL need to only abut a road to uniformly claim 50 per cent incentive FSI for construction of PPPLs.
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“… for development of multi-storeyed public parking lots on any plot abutting a road or a stretch of road, additional (incentive) FSI on built-up parking area, shall be allowed, on the land belonging to the private owner which is not reserved for any public purpose. The incentive FSI permissible under this regulation against the built-up area of the public parking lot, shall be 50 per cent of the PPL such that the total FSI does not exceed 4.0 in the island city and 3.0 in the suburbs,” an August 6, 2014 circular issued by the state urban development department says.
The state has also increased the scope of development for PPPLs. While earlier developers could only construct a five-level parking lot (ground plus three and two basements), this has now been increased to a maximum limit of seven levels.
The changes have been made as the original PPPL policy failed to effectively take off. In the past six years, only one PPPL project, the five-level Apollo Mills parking lot in Mahalakshmi, has been completed and opened. This is despite the civic body having approved 32 such proposals more than two years ago, wherein 26 received letters of intent, and 11 were even given commencement certificates.
Apart from Apollo Mills parking lot, work on two other spaces — one at Times Square, Sakinaka, and the other at Topiwala Cinema, Goregaon, is nearing completion.
The notification has also clarified that projects that were previously approved yet where “substantial construction” has not yet been carried out, will have to adhere to the new policy. However, the circular has not defined the extent of “substantial construction” considered enough for the developer to stick to the old policy.