Private land owners may soon be able to trade any unbuildable land parcel they own in Mumbai with the municipality in return for full development rights in the form of transferable development right certificates (TDR).
The revised Development Control regulations allow owners of unbuildable or less buildable lands that are not reserved for any public purpose to surrender these to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation for the purpose of building a public open space or a solid waste management facility. In return, the land owner will bag development rights for the full potential of the land.
Senior civic officials said the new tool was aimed at bettering the poor per capita public open space ratio in Mumbai. Sources said some private land owners who hold big chunks of land around green or buffer zones locked for development around the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, the Aarey Milk Colony, refineries, ordinance depots and other sensitive defence establishments, and the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, among others, would be its biggest beneficiaries. Other beneficiaries, sources revealed, would be owners of narrow plots.
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The new regulation, however, does not give such owners a carte blanche. A first rider states that it would be applicable only for unreserved private lands which aren’t located in lands already marked as no-development zones or natural areas.
A second precondition states that the owner must willingly offer the land for the public purpose, while the third rider limits the public purpose activities permissible to open public space, solid waste management facilities, municipal chowkies and toilet blocks. A last rider states that the “civic commissioner must require the land for these public purposes”.
This TDR can either be utilised in the form of construction rights on any other plot in Mumbai, or it could even be sold in the market. Restrictions on the development of these plots do not permit them to utilise two FSI at present. Mumbai’s latest existing land use data has revealed that the per capita public open space ratio in Mumbai was just over 1.24 square metre.