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Day after: some sops,some leeway

The state government is offering sops to builders who may not stick to Security Control rules - issued on February 27.

Written by Shweta Desai | Mumbai |
March 7, 2009 5:15:04 am

security control : Higher FSI to builders,easier parking rules

The state government is offering sops to builders who may not stick to Security Control rules – issued on February 27 to fortify buildings against terror strikes – fearing they could lose floor space. To counter opposition from people in space-starved Mumbai,the government is also relaxing basement parking norms being enforced for enhancing security.

The government is very serious about making builders adhere to the stiff norms laid down in the Security Control rules. To overcome any reluctance a builder may have in laying thicker columns or walls that may eat up built space,the government is offering a higher floor space index (FSI).

Secretary (Urban Development) T C Benjamin said that following the design norms would mean greater expenditure on stronger stilts and columns. “The design will take some part of floor space,too. Fearing this,developers may avoid sticking to the Security Control rules. Therefore we will compensate them in the form of extra FSI against that lost in following the blast-resistant designs,” he said.

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The Security Control rules will require all constructions in the state having a built-up area exceeding 10,000 sq-metre or occupancy over 1,000 to have blast-resistant designs. The rules will apply to hospitals,schools/colleges,malls,hotels,commercial buildings,government and semi-government offices and any other building considered to have a heightened threat perception.

Benjamin said the state was very serious about implementing the rules prepared by a committee headed by retired bureaucrat N V Merani and that included defence,BARC,ATS officials,structural engineers and other experts. “Following these rules will be in the interest of the state as the intention is to prevent citizens from being affected by any disaster including terror attacks,” he said. Developers therefore need not avoid the rules due to the expenditure or loss of FSI.

New constructions,as per the rules,will have to set up security outposts (free of FSI restrictions) and install the latest electronic surveillance equipment,there should be no more than two entry points (separate for people and material) and maps showing building layout should be displayed at exit routes for easy evacuation. The compound wall should be at least 2-metre-high and a stand-off point for buildings where vehicles can drop visitors at least 9 metre from the structure. There should be armouring of exposed columns.

While these rules are to be incorporated in newly buildings,even existing important buildings high on threat perception (those with iconic value,buildings of governance,heritage,schools,monuments,multiplex) will have to go for retrofitting to an optimum level.

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