The BJP-led state government is finalising a policy to increase permissible construction limits in redevelopment of old and dilapidated tenanted properties in Mumbai’s suburban areas to incentivise their revamp.
The policy, being drafted by the state urban development department, will be on the lines of an existing policy that allows a much higher Floor Space Index (FSI) for the redevelopment of old tenanted buildings in Mumbai’s island city. FSI refers to the ratio of the permissible built-up area to the plot area and is an important tool in urban planning.
A senior official from the state urban development department said, “We have identified over 1,500 tenanted properties in Mumbai’s suburbs that have become decrepit. We are still working out the modalities of whether we should extend the policy prevalent in the island city to similar buildings in the suburbs, or if there should be a different approach and set of incentives.”
The rules would be applicable to all buildings from Kurla to Mulund and Mankhurd in the eastern suburbs, and Bandra to Dahisar in the western suburbs.
An official from the state housing department said Housing Minister Prakash Mehta had been pushing for speedy drafting of such a policy for old tenanted buildings in the suburbs and had recently discussed the issue with the chief minister. Incidentally, for several years Mehta himself had been living in such a structure in Ghatkopar East, he added.
Currently for the redevelopment of old tenanted buildings in the island city under Development Control Regulation 33/7, the state government offers an FSI of 3 or that required for the rehabilitation of tenants and minimum incentive of 50 per cent that increases with the plot size, whichever is higher. There are over 19,000 such buildings, known as cessed structures. The residents are required to pay a cess to the state housing authority for their upkeep. Of these, the housing authority has granted no-objection certificates to at least 5,000 buildings over the years through the policy, bringing the number down to about 14,000.
However, there are no such incentives offered to similar buildings in the surburbs. As of now, these have to be redeveloped using the same provision applicable to other suburban buildings with a maximum FSI of 2. Currently, tenants of old and dilapidated buildings in the suburbs also do not have any protection once the building is razed.