Mumbai cluster policy on Dec 16,for Thane in a month: Chavanhttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/mumbai-cluster-policy-on-dec-16-for-thane-in-a-month-chavan/

Mumbai cluster policy on Dec 16,for Thane in a month: Chavan

Minimum plot size may be hiked,all buildings over 30 years old to be covered.

Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan Thursday said the revised cluster redevelopment policy for Mumbai would be announced on Monday during the ongoing Winter Session of the state legislature. The policy would be extended to Thane — which too has many dilapidated buildings — within a month after undertaking a study,he said.

Senior state officials said Mumbai’s new cluster policy would not include illegal buildings. When the policy was being revised,there were talks to make illegal buildings eligible for the benefits of redevelopment with a rider that occupants of the illegal homes would pay the construction cost. However,Chavan had expressed reservations. The new policy proposes to extend cluster redevelopment to suburbs and to all buildings prior to 1983.

The cluster concept involves integrated redevelopment of buildings spread over plots of one acre (4,000 sq m) or more with a floor space index (FSI) — ratio of built-up area to total plot area — of 4. While the existing policy is only applicable for cessed structures in the island city,the new policy will make it applicable to all legal buildings constructed prior to 1983 across Mumbai. For buildings declared dangerous and existing in the cluster,even the 1983 cut-off will not be applicable. The policy is likely to increase the minimum plot size for undertaking redevelopment in suburbs from 4,000 sq m to 10,000 sq m.

On Thursday,Opposition parties,especially Shiv Sena MLAs,staged a protest on the floor of the Legislative Assembly demanding a cluster redevelopment policy for Thane. Following the collapse of Lucky Compound,an illegal building in Mumbra,on April 4,which claimed 72 lives,Chavan had announced the need for introducing cluster redevelopment in Thane.

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Leader of the Opposition Eknath Khadse said 80 lives were lost in Thane last year due to illegal dilapidated structures and it’s high time the government announced a policy to redevelop these in a cluster.

Chavan said after reactions to Mumbai’s revised cluster policy were received,a separate study would be carried out to replicate the policy in Thane. “Thane has a large number of illegal buildings. Issuing a blanket permission to regularise and redevelop them will be unfair to legal buildings that have followed all due norms. A separate policy each for cities such as Thane,Ulhasnagar,Pimpri-Chinchwad etc,and which is practically possible,will be formulated and presented within a month,” he said.

Speaker Dilip Walse-Patil said the CM would present an official statement on cluster policy for Thane on Thursday. Official estimates peg the number of illegal buildings and slums in Thane at more than 5,000 and 2 lakh,respectively.

Chavan said the existing cluster redevelopment was proving financially unviable in Mumbai due to which it had been revised by a high-powered committee headed by BMC chief Sitaram Kunte. The new policy comes as a major boost for suburban redevelopment projects,where the cluster concept will be extended.

stuti.shukla@expressindia.com