India’s premier business district, the Bandra Kurla Complex in Mumbai, is all set to rise higher and see more construction.
According to information, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), which is the town planning agency for the commercial district, has approached the Maharashtra government for permitting higher floor space index (FSI) for commercial and residential developments in the business district.
FSI is a development tool that defines the extent of construction permissible on a plot. It is the ratio of the built-up area to the total plot area.
In order to reposition BKC as a commercial-cum-residential district and enhance revenue collections from the region, the MMRDA has sought the state government’s go-ahead to sanction developments on the basis of gross plot area or global FSI.
At present, areas under roads and other public amenities is deducted while computing the FSI permissible for a plot in the region.
Making a case for higher FSI, the agency has argued that the Mumbai International Airport area development has been modelled on the basis of global FSI. It has further argued that the proposed revamp of the Wadala Truck Terminus, where a new business district is being planned by the MMRDA, has also been approved on a global FSI basis.
According to senior officials, the proposal, if approved by the government, would enhance the permissible buildable area in BKC nearly three times. According to the official, the agency — which has been looking to shore up revenues for funding infrastructure projects — can earn an additional Rs 1.69 lakh crore from additional premiums due to the FSI hike.
The MMRDA has already taken up plans for revitalisation of properties in two blocks — the G and the E block — in the commercial district. The G-block, which houses offices of top corporate houses and banks — currently can see built-up space up to 212 hectare. A senior source said, “Under the global FSI model, the same can go up to 490 hectares.”
Similarly, the E-block presently has utilised built-up space of 15.92 hectare, while the permissible buildable area can increase to 52 hectare under the proposed model. “The going rate for properties in BKC is Rs 3.44 lakh per sq ft or thereabouts. With the additional built-up space, we will be able to generate revenue up to Rs 1.69 lakh crore,” an official said.
Officials, however, admitted that airport funnel zone restrictions, applicable to the region, could come in the way of further verticalisation. “Currently most buildings in the area are about 45-50 metre high. With higher FSI, these can rise up to 120 metres. But the funnel height restrictions will restrict constructions up to 90 metres high at the most,” another official said.
To overcome the impediment, the town planning agency is expected to promote sideways extensions for built properties, which can then be linked with a connecting bridge.
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