In a controversial move, Mumbai’s new development plan allows developers to avail additional building incentives for construction of multi-storeyed public parking facilities on plots leased by the government and the municipality. Builders of such plots can avail additional buildable space of up to 50 per cent of the built-up parking space, capped at a total buildable area of up to four times the plot size for leasehold plots in the island city, and three times the plot size for such plots in the suburbs of Mumbai.
The city’s prevalent development control regulations permit such floor space index (FSI) incentives for construction of public parking spaces only for private land-owners building such facilities on their land. Questions are being raised even in the government circles over the latest move. Incidentally, in November, 2016, the Mumbai (city) Collector had questioned “the grant of additional building rights to a subsidiary of a real estate major for building a multi-storeyed parking lot” on a plot allocated by it on lease.
While the grant was approved by the previous government, the Fadnavis-led Urban Development department has not acted on the Collector’s demand for modifying the grant order. Senior sources confirmed that the said case can be “regularised” once the new provision becomes applicable.
With days left for the approval to the new development plan, sources also confirmed that some hospitality industry majors have upped the pressure on the government to allow use of reserved open spaces inside hotel campuses around the Mumbai airport for other purposes. Ironically, sources pointed out that most of these facilities had been developed using the ‘accommodation principle’ on lands reserved for open spaces for catering to the accommodation demand around the airport. But wary of being criticised in public, sources said the government is unlikely to okay the demand.