Ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan has opened doors for construction projects involving redevelopment of old and dilapidated buildings in the island city to avail of additional floor space index (FSI) and rise higher.
The FSI is the ratio of built-up area of a building to the total area of the plot it stand on.
While an FSI of 3 is already allowed for redevelopment projects involving cessed structures, the latest move could make FSI of 4 available to a developer who offers to construct a public parking lot on a plot measuring over 1000 square metres and hand it over free of cost to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation. In 2010, the state urban development (UD) department had issued a circular disallowing the FSI benefit against construction of public parking lots in the case of cessed and cluster redevelopment projects.
Highly placed sources said Chavan ordered withdrawal of this circular earlier this week, thus allowing for FSI incentives against construction of public parking lots to be applied in the case of cessed and cluster redevelopment projects too.
While cluster redevelopment projects are already eligible for an FSI of 4, the move could bring cheer to developers involved in redevelopment of cessed buildings, sources said, adding that one such construction project in Saat Raasta and another one in Mahim could be among the immediate beneficiaries.
A senior official justified the move, arguing that the circular went against the spirit of the policy to incentivise construction of public parking lots and was discriminatory in nature.
Another official, however, said the timing of withdrawal raised eyebrows, adding that the Chavan government had also sought legal opinion of allowing the public parking FSI policy to be applied in the case of redevelopment projects in areas affected by coastal regulation zone (CRZ). The government has approached the Union Environment Ministry in this regard too, sources said.
Dissenting voices from within the government, however, were of the view that the government’s request was nothing but another bid to lift curbs on FSI in CRZ areas.