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Covid cases under check, Maharashtra turns focus on real estate to raise revenue

On Thursday, the Shiv Sena led Urban Development department (UDD) kicked off the process of sanctioning major land use and floor space index modifications proposed to Mumbai’s development plan to boost real estate activity.

Written by Sandeep A Ashar | Mumbai | Updated: November 20, 2020 9:55:31 am
Bracing for second wave: Maharashtra sanctions Covid drug supplies worth Rs 107 croreThe state has set aside Rs 300 crore in all for Covid-19 related medicine procurement and supplies in the ongoing fiscal.

WITH COVID-19 cases under control and state finances still in doldrums, the Uddhav Thackeray-led government has turned its attention on the real estate sector for augmenting its resources.

On Thursday, the Shiv Sena led Urban Development department (UDD) kicked off the process of sanctioning major land use and floor space index modifications proposed to Mumbai’s development plan to boost real estate activity.

While Mumbai’s new development plan (DCPR-2034) had come into being on September 1, 2018, the then Devendra Fadnavis led government had separately notified over 2,000 major land use and FSI changes as the “excluded part (EP)” of the development plan, most of which are yet to get the final government nod.

According to officials, the change in government in the state and the pandemic situation had led to delays in sanctioning of the EP proposals, which mainly deal with unlocking more areas for development and enhancing permissible built-up areas.

Having contained the spread of Covid-19 cases, sources said Chief Minister UddhavThackeray on Wednesday gave a go-ahead for approvals to these proposals. Accordingly, sources said the UDD has sanctioned the first 200 EP proposals from the pending lot. According to information, most of these pertain to land use changes proposed in the island city of Mumbai. A formal notification in this regard is expected to be issued in a day or two.

Officials also said that more EP proposals were expected to get the nod in the coming days.

On Wednesday, the department has issued a notification enhancing sale incentives and offering fresh concessions to push redevelopment of old and dilapidated buildings in the island city and also cluster redevelopment projects. A proposal for slashing construction premiums for all development projects is also in the works.

Skyscraper culture spreads beyond MMR

In a move that will see skyscraper culture—prevalent in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region — spread its wings to other areas of the state, the government has given a nod to a unified development control regime for all urban areas with the exception of Mumbai and certain specially carved out special planning zones. Being planned under the Ease of Doing Business reforms, the new rules will see an increase in permissible buildable area indices across cities and towns besides promoting the same set of rules for development permissions in all municipal councils, metropolitan regions and civic corporations with the exception of Mumbai.

While draft rules in this regard were published in March 2018, the current government has further enhanced permissible floor space index and eased certain planning norms and also lowered construction premiums further to aid the ailing industry.

Like in Mumbai, builders will be entitled to incentive floor space index for cluster redevelopment and integrated township schemes and slum rehabilitation across cities. While areas excluded from FSI computations will come down, builder can avail a compensatory FSI of 60 percent over and above the permissible limits for residential developments and 80 per cent for commercial ones. For big layouts,15 percent FSI will be available for recreational amenities. A total permissible FSI of three (three times the plot area) will be provided for social and low income housing.

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