The Maharashtra government has decided to open up no-development zones (NDZ) in Mumbai for the construction of convention centres and grant a higher permissible built-up area for such projects citing lack of large convention centres in Mumbai despite it being the country’s financial epicentre. The state urban development department last week published a final notification for a special regulation for exhibition and convention centres in Mumbai within the jurisdiction of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
As per the new regulation, convention centres to be built in residential, industrial or commercial zones will get a Floor Space Index (FSI) of 4, with the additional permissible area to be given on a premium of 10 percent of the ready reckoner rates. Similarly, exhibition and convention centres to come up on no-development zones will be allotted a maximum FSI of 2. Construction in no-development zones, considered to be ecologically sensitive areas, is otherwise allowed an FSI of between 0.2-0.4 mainly for ancillary services such as golf clubs, amusement parks, and IT parks.
For the additional FSI on no-development zones, the government will charge a premium at the same rate for all permissible construction area beyond 0.2 FSI. The state government and the BMC are already facing flak for proposing to open up no-development zones for affordable housing and public amenities in the city. A senior urban development department official said, “As of now, besides the Bombay Exhibition Centre at Goregaon, Mumbai does not have even a single exhibition and convention centre. Until now, there was no provision for any additional FSI to be granted for convention centres to incentivise their construction.With a basic FSI of 1 and 1.33 in the suburbs and island city, constructing such convention centres was neither possible nor viable for developers.”
He added that the proposal for a special regulation and additional FSI for convention centres was first mooted by the erstwhile Congress-NCP government, which had published the draft notification for the same in 2014. The extra FSI and construction permission on no-development zones will, however, not be given carte blanche. To avail of the benefits, the plot for the proposed convention centre should have a minimum area of five hectares, excluding any development proposals of reservations and roads. Besides, the proposed entry gates to the convention centre must abut a main road or a highway having a minimum width of 18.3 metres.
Also, the developer will have to ensure that internal roads are at least 13.4 metres wide and there is sufficient parking – 2 car parks for every ten seats of the convention centre and 25 car parking spaces for every 1,000 square metres of exhibition area. As per the regulation, the developer will also be required to provide parking for two-wheelers at a minimum 25 percent of the total car parking capacity, a stand for at least 25 taxis and 50 auto-rickshaws and a bus terminal for a minimum of 10 buses.