Hours before the State Election Commission (SEC) announced polls to the BMC on Tuesday,the state government approved amendments to the Development Control Regulations (DCR) for the city to pave the way for housing projects pending clearance since Prithviraj Chavan took over as Chief Minister.
The DCR,as proposed by the BMC,have undergone major modifications,which critics say favour developers and builders although Chavan insisted the move would bring in transparency,remove discretionary powers and reduce property rates.
I have been trying to bring in transparency and reduce arbitrary and discretionary decision-making. Amendments to Mumbai DCR are a step in this direction and will establish a level playing field for developers, said Chavan. It will bring about an element of certainty among the investors and lead to reduction in the prices of property.
As per the new regulations,areas such as terraces and swimming pools on individual apartment balconies and ornamental projections that were not part of the FSI calculations until now will be included in FSI to prevent manipulations by developers. All such areas will now be available under the concept of compensatory FSI in lieu of a premium levied on developers. The areas under compensatory FSI called fungible FSI cannot be more than 35 per cent of the total area of the apartment,a step that is expected to rein in excessive loading by developers and the rush to create luxury housing.
The charges for fungible FSI have been reduced,making it available at 60,80 and 100 per cent of the ready reckoner rates for residential,industrial and commercial properties respectively.
Also,no premium will be charged for fungible FSI while redeveloping cessed buildings and in suburbs,the fungible FSI on the FSI already consumed in the existing buildings will be available free of premium. This will help MHADA developments as also regular proposals for the redevelopment of the existing buildings using TDR in suburbs.
In other changes,a developer has the option of 25 per cent more parking over the DCR limit without premium and without being counted in the FSI. In an attempt to curb creation of lofts and illegal mezzanine floors,the floor height in residential flats and shops has been reduced from 4.2 m to 3.9 m.
Manoj Daisaria from the Practicing Engineers,Architects and Town Planners Association said compared to 2010,in 2011 only 25 per cent of the projects could be approved as developers were waiting for the DCR amendment. With the new rules,the discretionary powers of the municipal commissioner have been curtailed and the approval process will get streamlined, he said. The state government has also granted developers 25 per cent extra parking,which will be available without payment of premium and will be free of FSI.