Developers redeveloping dilapidated cessed buildings in the island city of Mumbai will no longer need prior government permission for availing additional floor space index (FSI).
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who heads the Urban Development department, has delegated these powers to the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA), which oversees redevelopment of such buildings.
Accordingly, an approval from MHADA’s vice president will now be enough to avail additional FSI.
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Around 2,200 buildings in the island city could benefit from the norms.
FSI defines the extent of construction permissible on a plot.
In May 2011, Fadnavis’s predecessor Prithviraj Chavan had modified development control regulation, increasing FSI for such redevelopment projects from 2.5 to 3.
The Chavan government had imposed a rider that in the case of ongoing projects, the additional FSI perk could only be availed if the construction of the rehabilitation building had not progressed beyond the plinth stage.
The Bombay High Court struck down this rider in 2013 while hearing a related case.
Following this, the Chavan government on October 7, 2013, applied the additional FSI to all ongoing projects where occupation certificates had not been issued, while keeping the conversion from FSI of 2.5 to 3 optional.
The government had made it mandatory for developers to seek prior government approval before availing the additional FSI perk, reasoning that the structural stability of incomplete buildings was crucial for the safety of residents.
Fadnavis has now delegated these powers to MHADA, while ruling that this approval will be “subject to ascertaining and verifying of redevelopment schemes in progress.”
The state government has said that the verification was crucial to avoid cases of builders endangering lives of residents through haphazard construction.