Ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP government in the state plans to dish out a fresh bouquet of sops to the developers of Mumbai’s slums. On Tuesday, the chief minister-led urban development (UD) department issued orders postponing the implementation of the Excluded Part (EP) of the Mumbai’s new development control regulations (DCR 2034) till November 13. It was to come into force from Wednesday.
Justifying the postponement, the department contended that “there were typographical errors and mistakes in the EP notification (published previously) that required corrections.” Senior officials, however, said that the government was considering a proposal to extend new concessions to slum developers, which could be included in the corrigendum regarding the corrections.
While the state government had sanctioned Mumbai’s new development plan (DP) on May 8, major modifications proposed in permissible floor space index (FSI) for various development and redevelopment schemes were sanctioned in the EP and approved on September 21.
For slum redevelopment projects, the government increased the minimum entitlement of a replacement home for the slum dweller from 269 sq ft to 300 sq ft. This itself has resulted in upward revision in the developer’s sale component, with the latter being linked the rehabilitation area.
Making slum redevelopments even more lucrative, the government, as part of the September 21 approvals, also lifted the cap on the maximum permissible FSI on a slum plot, which had been previously capped at 3 FSI to control population densities on slum lands.
Sweetening the deal further, the government now has plans to allow relaxation in the condition regarding the space between two slum rehabilitation buildings, despite intense opposition from activists and a section of the bureaucracy, sources said.
“Slum developers had initially lobbied for lifting of the FSI cap. After achieving this, they are now pushing for the relaxation in the norms regarding open space around the buildings. The government is considering the option,” an official said. On September 21, the government had also shifted the FSI computation formula linking it to a slum’s boundary, instead of the area occupied by slums.
Based on a demand raised by the slum developers, another proposal of raising the saleable component incentives for redevelopment projects involving two or more slum lands is also being considered. For such clubbing schemes, while the government has proposed that the rehabilitation component should be located on the same plot or on a similar value plot in the same ward or adjoining ward, the developers have been demanding permission to build the rehabilitation component anywhere in Mumbai, which is also being considered.
Fresh sops are also being considered for projects where tenements for slum dwellers or project affected persons are built on non-encumbered private lands in lieu of transferable development rights. Questions are being raised on whether such major modifications can be a part of the corrections to the sanctioned EP.
Sources said the department had submitted the proposal related to the corrections (around 51) to the EP on October 15 itself. But the chief minister’s sanction is still pending, sources added.