Developers with projects in the suburbs have lashed out against the state governments new building rules,which they allege discriminates against redevelopment projects in the suburbs at the cost of favouring those in the island city.
On January 3,Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan announced the amendment to the Development Control Rules (DCR) wherein areas such as individual terraces,balconies and ornamental projections could be granted in the form of 35 per cent chargeable FSI. While it was initially proposed that there has to be a compulsory side open space of 6 m for all projects,the final rules reduced it to only 1.5 m in case of cessed building redevelopment and slum rehabilitation projects on smaller plots. This concession was not extended to redevelopment projects in the suburbs.
Ramesh Prabhu,chairman of Maharashtra Society Welfare Association,said in the island city if the plot is less than 600 sq m,a side open space of only 1.5 m is needed. However,in case of suburbs,a side open space of 6 to 9 m is to be maintained depending on the height of the structure. This rule will make it impossible to consume the entire FSI in case of several redevelopment projects, he said.
He added that though the purpose of the new rules is to remove the element of the discretionary powers vested in the municipal commissioner,this rule will require files to be sent to the BMC chief for open space concessions in case of suburban projects. There is no doubt that projects will be allowed to reduce their open space requirements,but unlike the island city where developers wont have to pay for the concessions,here every file will have to go to the BMC chief and developers will be required to pay a premium, said Prabhu.
The Builders Association of India (BAI) has made a representation on this issue before the CM and is planning to discuss the issue with him further after the BMC elections on February 16. BAI treasurer Anand Gupta said the association will move the court if the state refuses to consider their requests. They said most plots in town planning schemes,such as Juhu Vile Parle Development Scheme,are less than 600 sq m.
For a year and a half since October 2010,all our projects were put on hold as the commissioner said he wanted to frame new rules that would do away with his discretionary powers. What is the point of waiting for so long if files still have to go to him? said Gupta. He added that another bone of contention is that in the suburbs,the new rules do not allow podium parking in case of smaller plots. Moreover,the rules state that only one parking lot is allowed for every eight apartments in case the area of each house is below 35 sq m,between 35-45 sq m,it is one for every four house and between 45-70 m it is one each apartment. In case buyers of smaller apartment require parking or those in bigger apartment require more than one lot,we will have to construct it by using our FSI, said Gupta.