The Maharashtra government has permitted residential and commercial development on big land parcels acquired for industrial use, even as the Centre is debating the land acquisition bill.
Senior officials confirmed that Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had modified norms clearing decks for 40 per cent commercial and residential exploitation in industrial areas measuring 40 hectares (100 acres) or more.
While the erstwhile Congress-NCP government had allowed the 40 per cent non-industrial use as an exit route for failed Special Economic Zones (SEZs) on government and private land, Fadnavis last week modified the norms extending it to all industrial areas, regardless of whether they are on government or private land.
Accordingly, all industrial areas over 40 hectares can now be converted into industrial townships holding residential and commercial spaces, provided the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) notifies such areas as integrated industrial areas (IIAs). The MIDC will act as the special planning authority for all such IIAs.
The Fadnavis government has also decided to extend the option of developing special investment nodes in the state under the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) project.
CMO officials said the state urban development department would soon issue a notification regarding the modified norms.
The government has sanctioned modification of the rules formulated for development of such townships arguing that “there was a need to make them more viable”.
Development Control regulations for IIAs, which were promoted by the previous regime as an exit policy for failed SEZs, were first brought out on March 4, 2013. But, senior officials said, the response from denotified SEZs was lukewarm.
Fadnavis has now relaxed the timeline for infrastructure development in such industrial townships from the previous three years to five years from the sanctioning of building plans.
Also, the norm that required a developer or land owner to obtain IIA notification from MIDC within six months of application has been removed.
No separate non-agriculture permission will be required for IIAs, which will also be exempted from payment of fees for scrutinising development plans for the entire township.
Besides commercial and residential spaces, the government has also recently permitted ‘development of campus’ in the non-industrial user category to build educational complexes.
For IIAs above 80 hectares, development of golf course, clubs, gymnasia, theme parks and swimming pools have been permitted in the mandatory recreation space.
While the MIDC had also sought relaxation in recreation and open space norms, reduction in the width of the mandatory access roads, exemption from provision of providing low income and middle income housing, which is mandatory for residential use on plots over 2,000 sq m, and exemption from payment of premium for additional FSI, among other concessions, Fadnavis disallowed them following reservations cited by the UD department.
The government has said the changes have been brought in to promote the ‘Walk to Work’ concept in industrial townships. Sources said the government had also decided to relax various norms for development of industries in MIDC areas.
EASE OF DOING BUSINESS: Development charges slashed
To improve the business climate in Mumbai, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has slashed development charges for setting up warehouses and godowns in Mumbai from 100 per cent of the Ready Reckoner rates, which are market values of a plot stipulated by the government, to 10 per cent. The urban development department has issued orders notifying this concession.
Officials argued that the World Bank had cited “high development charges” for warehouses and godown plots in Mumbai as a factor for ranking the city low on the global ‘Ease of Doing Business’ index.
Incidentally, the premium collected for granting compensatory FSI for redevelopment projects in Mumbai is 60 per cent of the ready reckoner rate.