FROM marking out new proposed business districts and a floor space index (FSI) of 5 for all hotels regardless of star category to opening up No Development Zones for affordable housing and roads, the revised draft of the city’s Development Plan 2014-2034 offers a slew of cautious but innovative planning tools.
For instance, three to four new central business districts (CBDs) have been proposed on government land, with an FSI of 5. While Bandra Kurla Complex already has a global FSI of 5, other CBDs such as Nariman Point and Oshiwara, currently have a lower FSI.
According to details revealed by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation on Wednesday, the new draft DP also makes a concerted push for affordable housing, setting a target of a million affordable houses to be built in the coming years. Builders offering affordable housing projects will be able to avail FSI up to 4 on all plots, though the large target areas for such projects will be areas currently demarcated as No Development Zones (NDZs). While NDZs are being opened up, this does not include mangroves and other large NDZ areas redesignated as ‘natural areas’.
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Officials said the housing target has been linked to Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority’s recent regional plan, which projects that while population of Mumbai city is set to rise marginally from the current level of 12.44 million to 12.79 million by 2021, it will drop in the subsequent decades by about a million. However, while housing space per capita is currently estimated at 9 sq metres per person, by 2021 the housing need per capita will be 18 sq metres to 20 sq metres.
Key among innovative tools being proposed is a new method of computing FSIs for larger plots. While FSI was earlier granted on net area of a plot — after deducting 15 per cent area meant for recreation spaces — the FSI available to a developer of plots over 2,125 sq metres will now be on the gross area of the plot. This means computed buildable area will rise by 15 per cent. Senior government officials conceded that this is a “backdoor entry” for increasing FSI from current levels. However, the rationale is to simplify the process and reduce corruption in the process of computing buildable area on a plot, they said.
So, the DP keeps the base floor space index of suburbs unchanged while the base FSI for the island city is set to be increased from 1.33 to 2. However, several sectors will get additional FSI to boost planned city development.
All hotels on independent plots can now avail an FSI of 5, regardless of star rating. “Currently, FSI is given on the basis of star rating. But we want to encourage people to come to the city and live in budget hotels as well. Therefore an FSI of 5 will be given to hotels no matter what its star rating,” said Mehta.
Some commercial building categories, including mainly information technology parks, municipal markets and social amenities are to avail an FSI of 5 as well. “We have calculated FSI allotments on the basis of mathematical calculations. We cannot have a city with just houses.
We need more jobs which require more office space. We have a requirement of about 10,000 hectares of commercial space and thus have proposed an FSI of 5,” said Mehta.
The underlying motive of these city planning tools is a target of 8.5 million new jobs in the period of the plan’s implementation, incidentally also a first-ever attempt by those drafting the Development Plan to link Mumbai’s urban plan to job creation and socio-economic growth.
Meanwhile, the DP also proposes to bring the island city and the suburbs under a uniform urban planning regime by first allowing the use of Transferable Development Rights in the city area too. TDR is currently permitted only in the suburbs. The TDR in the city and suburbs is now proposed to be linked to the Ready Reckoner rates.
Also, in what may finally offer a solution to bottlenecks along arterial Lal Bahadur Shastri Marg and the Swami Vivekanand Roads, the revised draft DP incentivises the accommodation of tenants on plots that are jutting on to these roads or are along the road alignment and come in the way of road widening. Plots where occupants of such existing occupants are accommodated can avail FSI up to 4.
“Earlier, we did not have any resettlement and rehabilitation component (in road-widening). However, tenants of a plot on a road can now find another plot in the area which will be given a maximum FSI of 4 and get a road front location,” said Mehta. He added that this provision has been made to primarily relieve bottlenecks on SV Road and LBS Marg, though the policy would be applicable across the city and suburbs.
A new provision, to encourage self-redevelopment of residential buildings that are more than 30 years old is to incentivise them through returning cost of construction to residents in the form of additional FSI. Old and dilapidated buildings whose owners are unable to afford redevelopment will benefit from the proposal through which buildings can be redeveloped and as an incentive, the cost of construction will be given to them in the form of built-up area.
Redevelopment of societies on 56 layouts in the city owned by MHADA, government residential quarters, permanent transit shelters and buildings located in approved town planning schemes will witness an increase in incentive FSI from current levels, whereas incentives offered for redevelopment of slums and cessed buildings are expected to be retained at current levels.