Mumbai: Norms for space between buildings to be relaxedhttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/mumbai-housing-dharavi-project-norms-space-buildings-relaxed-5408273/

Mumbai: Norms for space between buildings to be relaxed

According to initial estimates, more than five crore square feet of saleable built-up space will be available after the rehabilitation of hutment dwellers, informal industrial units and setting up of infrastructure.

With Dharavi located in the Mumbai airport’s funnel zone, there are restrictions on how tall buildings can be. (Representational Image)

Norms regarding space between two high-rises are proposed to be diluted for the Rs 26,000 crore Dharavi Redevelopment Project. On October 16, the Maharashtra cabinet sanctioned a new plan for the revamp of Asia’s largest slum, with the new plan set to redevelop the entire 240-hectare slum land as a single cluster.

The project, which involves the resettlement of nearly 60,000 hutment dwellers in planned habitats, is entitled to a floor space index (FSI) of four on the entire slum area. FSI is a development tool that determines the extent of construction permissible on a plot, or the ratio of total built-up area to the total plot area. According to initial estimates, more than five crore square feet of saleable built-up space will be available after the rehabilitation of hutment dwellers, informal industrial units and setting up of infrastructure.

With Dharavi located in the Mumbai airport’s funnel zone, there are restrictions on how tall buildings can be. To ensure that this does not impact the project’s viability, the housing department has sought relaxations in norms regarding distance mandated between two buildings.

Mumbai’s new Development Control (DC) regulations stipulate that there should be an 18-metre space between two high-rises. The Housing Department has now proposed that for the Dharavi project, this should be relaxed to 12 metres, to allow construction of more high-rises.

The housing department’s proposal is on the basis of a request from the state-run Dharavi Redevelopment Project Authority (DRPA).

The state’s Urban Development (UD) department has objected to the move. But the housing department submitted the proposal to the cabinet, which has given its nod to it. Amendments will have to be introduced to the DC Regulations before the proposal can be implemented.

Alternatively, the housing department has obtained the cabinet’s nod for the SPV to sell the transferable development rights (TDR) generated from the project to other parts of Mumbai.

The Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) will have 80 per cent private equity, while the government, through DRPA, will hold 20 per cent equity. Up to eight entities can come together as a consortium to bid for the project on the condition that the SPV’s lead partner will have to hold 51 per cent stake, which cannot be diluted till completion of the rehabilitation work and development of all infrastructural facilities. The lead partner will be permitted to dilute his share to 26 per cent after these milestones.

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While the Mumbai municipality, along with the state-run Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority, owns 70 per cent of the land in the Dharavi redevelopment notified area, the cabinet has also approved a proposal assigning the Chief Executive Officer and Officer on Special Duty, DRPA, to shift or rearrange public reservations and designations within the notified area without the municipality’s consultation. A nod for permitting the formation of an independent fire-fighting service within the notified area, and another one granted the OSD, DRPA, special powers for sanctioning building plans, acquiring land and removing encroachments have also been given.

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