The skyline of India’s commercial capital is set to undergo another change with the highrise culture likely to intensify. An expert committee under state Chief Secretary Swadheen Kshatriya has recommended to do away with the need for a special sanction from the highrise committee for buildings up to a height of 120 metres, or about 40 floors. On the basis of the committee’s recommendation, the chief minister-led urban development department will formulate a proposal in this regard.
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Sources said CM Devendra Fadnavis was expected to sanction the proposal.
Currrently, permissions for buildings up to 70 metres or 21 floors are sanctioned at the municipal commissioner’s level. Construction projects exceeding the 70-m height norm are required to seek an additional approval from the highrise committee.
The construction industry has been pushing for the relaxation of the norms. Architects and developers have argued that approvals from highrise committee often get delayed. Further, buildings that require HRC approval have to conform to a special set of planning standards.
Mumbai is already identified as the country’s highrise capital. The move, once implemented, would encourage more highrise construction, said sources.
A senior town planning expert backed the move, saying it would simplify the approval process and expedite issuance of building permits. “Such a move will boost redevelopment of old buildings across Mumbai,” one of them said.
The Practising Engineers, Architects, and Town Planners Association (PEATA), whose representatives are also on the Chief Secretary-led panel, has also been pushing the initiative.
But the proposal still has an important milestone to cross. Sources said the state government would need the assent of the Bombay High Court before implementing the move. The HRC was formed following court directives.
Sources said the government has plans to approach the court once Fadnavis sanctions the proposal.
Mumbai’s new development plan has also suggested that the minimum height for a building under the highrise category be increased from 24 to 32 metres.