The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Thursday told the Bombay High Court that it is not willing at present to withdraw a controversial circular that lays down a cap on public parking in the city. The civic body,however,also stated that it intends to send an application to the state government to amend the Development Plan (DP) regulations.
The circular restricts the height of multi-level parking lots to a maximum of ground plus four storeys. Through it,the BMC has laid down that such parking must be restricted to two floors at the basement level,the ground floor and four upper floors. This policy has adversely affected many developers who were availing FSI benefits and concentrated highrises in certain areas of the city.
In response to the circular,a number of developers approached the High Court through writ petitions that were filed before a Division Bench of Justices D K Deshmukh and R Y Ganoo. The petitioners contended that the BMC cannot make such a regulation through a circular and must amend the DP regulations.
However,in a relief to prominent realty firms Simplex Realty and Neelkamal Realtors,the BMC told the court that it will not implement the circular in their cases.
Additional Municipal Commissioner Aseem Gupta said,As per the court order,we will now include the substance of the circular in the newly amended Development Control Regulation (DCR) and get that notified by the government. Until then,the circular will not be applicable to the petitioners.
According to Gupta,the circular has already been implemented in many cases where the BMC was approached for public parking lots. Senior civic officials said the policy restricting the height of parking lots to ground plus four structure was being implemented in over 20 proposals.
Meanwhile,the four petitioners including real estate major DB Realtys subsidiary,Neelkamal Realtors,Simplex Infrastructure are eligible to approach the BMC for construction of public parking lots under the original policy. These companies have not yet been granted the mandatory commencement certificate (CC) to begin construction.
According to officials,the companies can submit proposals under the old policy but in case the revised parking policy is included and notified by the government in the new DCR,they too will have to follow the new policy. Officials said the notification is expected to come within a month.
Speaking to Newsline,lawyer for the civic corporation Geeta Joglekar said,It would not be possible to withdraw the circular as we have given permissions to many realty firms on the basis of this circular. Such an action might harm their interests. The court has accepted the statement of the BMC and has disposed of the petitions.