The state government has proposed a change in regulations governing construction activity in the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) for allowing additional buildable area for lands owned by the state-run Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) inside Mumbai’s premier business district.
While constructions on such MHADA-owned lands are permitted to utilise a total floor space index (FSI) of 1.5 to 2 at present, the proposed modification, once implemented, will increase it to FSI of 3.
FSI is a development tool that determines the extent of construction permissible on a plot. It is the ratio of the buildable area of the plot to the total plot area. In simple terms, a FSI of 3 means that the builder is permitted to build up to three times the plot area.
The chief minister-led Urban Development Department has issued a notification about of the proposed modification, inviting suggestions and objections from the public before implementing the move.
According to the notification, a new section is proposed to be inserted in the development control regulations (DCR) for BKC, extending floor space indices prescribed in the Development Control and Promotion Regulations, 2034, of the Mumbai municipality to such MHADA-owned areas.
The BKC area, which was notified as a special planning zone under the Mumbai Metropolitan Area Development Authority in March, 1977, is governed by its own DCR, which is independent of Mumbai’s DCPR-2034.
According to its existing provisions, residential construction on MHADA-owned lands within the district can be carried out with an FSI of 1.5 for lands leased after March 1977 and FSI of 2 for those leased earlier.
With Mumbai’s new DCPR-2034, which came into force last September, enhancing the overall FSI for residential construction inside MHADA-owned colonies in the rest of Mumbai to FSI of 3, sources said that some building industry giants had been pushing for a hike in the FSI levels even within the district.
Sources said MHADA owns large land parcels in three blocks within the business district. The move comes at a time when two leading real estate firms are undertaking redevelopment projects on these lands.
The notification issued by the Urban Development Department also mentions that the Mumbai municipal commissioner himself had supported the modification.
Ironically, sources said that MHADA officials had pointed out that the ongoing redevelopment projects in question were slum redevelopment projects, and that the regulation govern redevelopment of properties in MHADA-owned colonies elsewhere.