April 21, 2015 12:39:07 am
Builders of real estate projects in Mumbai, who are allowed to construct additional area for sale in exchange for creating public parking lots, will now have to shell out more, in line with the BJP-led government’s budgetary goal of monetising floor space index (FSI) to boost revenues.
The state urban development (UD) department issued orders on Monday stating that premium charged for use of the incentive FSI in such projects will go up. FSI determines the extent of construction allowed in the project. However, data obtained from the BMC shows that the seven-year-old policy, which grants additional construction rights to developers who agree to create public parking within their plots, has not translated into creation of ample parking spaces on the ground and has instead led to congestion in already dense localities.
Developers who construct public parking lots, in addition to captive parking for their own buyers, are allowed to construct an area equivalent to 50 per cent of the built-up area of the public parking lot as residential or commercial units in their project. For this, they have to pay a premium that is calculated at 40 per cent of the ready reckoner value of the incentive FSI minus the cost incurred by him on constructing the parking lot. According to the orders issued by UD department on Monday, the premium has now been increased to 60 per cent. This paper had reported last month that the proposed move was awaiting CM Devendra Fadnavis’s approval.
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The policy was introduced by the Ashok Chavan government and since then, projects by several realty majors such as Indiabulls, DB Realty, K Raheja Universal and Lodha have gone higher taking benefit of the policy.
BMC data shows that of the 59 projects sanctioned since 2008, merely three have handed over public parking lots to the civic body. The island city, which accounts for just 10 per cent of Mumbai’s geographical area, has borne the brunt of the policy with more than half of the 59 proposed realty projects under the policy coming up on prime plots of land in South Mumbai. Most of these projects are along the already crowded mill land belts in South Central Mumbai. Of this, only two public parking lots by Lodha developers — one in Apollo mills and another in Kanjurmarg — are currently operational. As a result, while on paper the policy shows creation of 42,664 parking slots across the 59 projects, merely 1,250 parking slots are in use seven years down the line.
Transport expert Ashok Datar pointed out that global cities such as Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai, London, Munich and New York have measures in place to restrict private vehicles through prohibitive costs for parking. “Instead of creating more spaces for public and pedestrian traffic, Mumbai is going in the opposite directive by encouraging car ownership and allowing builders to construct more in lieu of creating public parking. Charging a slightly higher premium from builders doesn’t account for much when compared to the fact that this will lead to further traffic congestion in the long run,” said Datar.
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