The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Maharashtra government has hiked permissible construction area in the proposed Oshiwara district commercial centre for residential as well as commercial development in exchange for a premium, aiming to shape it on the lines of the swanky Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC).
The state Urban Development department on Wednesday issued a notification doubling the Floor Space Index (FSI) in Oshiwara for residential development to 3. For commercial development, the department decided to raise FSI to 4 from 1.5. Further, the government has increased FSI for development of social, cultural and public utilities to 3 from 1. FSI refers to ratio of permissible built-up area to the plot area and is an important urban planning tool.
An official from the state urban development department, requesting anonymity, said, “The government wants to promote Oshiwara as a commercial centre after BKC, and Wadala, planning for which is in process. BKC will soon reach saturation, and there is a need for decentralization.” The upcoming Oshiwara railway station will further boost the effort, he added.
However, additional FSI over and above the base FSI of 1.5 for residential and commercial use, and 1 for other purposes, will be available only on payment of a premium at 60 percent of the ready reckoner rate. Besides, additional FSI will only be granted for plots facing a 25-metre wide road as per the Development Plan.
Plot owners will have to forego a portion of their land, depending on plot area, to the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), the special planning authority for Oshiwara district centre, for development of amenities. For land below 2,000 sqm, owners will have to give up 20 percent of the area for amenities to MMRDA, for plots between 2,000 sqm and 4,000 sqm this would be 15 percent, while for plots over 4,000 sqm MMRDA will be entitled to 10 percent.
The decision comes seven years after the chief minister-chaired MMRDA approved increasing the FSI and sent a proposal to the state government for approval.
An MMRDA official said developers such as RNA Corp and Sunteck Realty have large upcoming projects in Oshiwara business centre and can stand to benefit from additional FSI.
While the government hiked FSI, it is set to downsize Oshiwara district centre by hiving off 37 hectare of the total 102-hectare area, reportedly on the MMRDA’s request, and has invited suggestions and objections. Following the exclusion, this area will cease to be a special planning zone and all town planning norms and development control regulations applicable elsewhere in Mumbai will apply here.
U P S Madan, MMRDA commissioner, said, “We want to exclude the area to the west of the Swami Vivekananda Road as it is occupied by slums, while the area being retained under Oshiwara business centre has strong potential for development.”
The MMRDA was not getting sufficient response to develop Oshiwara as a commercial centre with FSI of just 1.5, Madan said. “In both BKC and Wadala, we offer a higher FSI, so if we have to develop Oshiwara on these lines then it makes sense to increase FSI here as well,” he added.
An MMRDA official said that about 35-40 percent of the total business centre has vacant plots and scope for development. About 10-12 percent is covered by informal structures or slums, while the rest is fully built, and has potential only through redevelopment.
Notification to exclude BKC land
The state urban development department has published a draft notification to exclude about 47 hectares from the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) near Bandra reclamation that is mostly owned by the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) and developed by allottees. The housing authority initiated the proposal in October 2014, saying it wanted to utilize the full potential of FSI the government has granted to MHADA layouts. The MMRDA conveyed its no objection in September.