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State paves way for redevelopment of unauthorised buildings in Mumbai

According to government estimates, there are over 4 lakh unauthorised constructions in Maharashtra's urban belts, with Navi Mumbai and Thane in MMR accounting for a sizeable number among these.

Written by Sandeep A Ashar | Mumbai | Updated: December 9, 2020 8:12:33 am
In Mumbai, developers are currently offered a sale area equal to 80 per cent to 135 per cent of the slum rehabilitation area. (file)

Paving way for the regularisation of lakhs of unauthorised constructions in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) and other urban areas across Maharashtra, the state government has now permitted redevelopment of illegal buildings under cluster redevelopment schemes.

While such a provision was earlier applicable only to areas within the Thane Municipal Corporation limits, the state’s new unified development control rules — applicable to all civic bodies with the exception of Mumbai and certain specially carved areas — have now universalised it.

The new rules came into force on December 4.

According to government estimates, there are over 4 lakh unauthorised constructions in Maharashtra’s urban belts, with Navi Mumbai and Thane in MMR accounting for a sizeable number among these.

The new regulations state that “unauthorised buildings over 30 years, slums, authorised dilapidated buildings, authorised buildings over 30 years, central and state lands, privately owned land” can be redeveloped together under the cluster redevelopment model.

Luring developers to take up such schemes, the government has offered incentives. It has proposed to allow builders to avail sale incentives of up to 175 per cent of the rehabilitation area in such developments.

In Mumbai, where only authorised developments are permitted to be redeveloped under the cluster scheme, the sale incentive offered to builders is up to 100 per cent of the rehabilitation component.

In a separate notification issued last month, the government had also proposed to enhance the sale incentive in Mumbai to 130 per cent.

In the island city of Mumbai, cluster projects require a minimum area of 4,000 sq m while in the suburbs, the minimum area required is 6,000 sq m.

For the rest of Maharashtra, the new rules stipulate a minimum area of 10,000 sq m in non-congested belts, and 4,000 sq m in congested belts. Making a special dispensation for the Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation, where a majority of the buildings are still unauthorised, the government has limited the minimum cluster size to 4,000 sq m even in non-congested belts.

While the maximum permissible buildable area for such projects has been capped at 4 FSI (four times the gross plot area of the cluster) in Mumbai, the new rules for the rest of the areas have stipulated that the maximum permissible buildable FSI will be “rehabilitation plus sale component” or 4 FSI, whichever is higher.

When compared to the norms prevalent in Mumbai, the new rules have also offered higher incentives for slum redevelopments in other areas.

In Mumbai, where every second resident resides in a slum, developers are currently offered a sale area equal to 80 per cent to 135 per cent of the slum rehabilitation area. The new rules have proposed to offer 120 per cent to 240 per cent sale incentive in most areas.

For Thane, this is proposed to be heightened to 300 per cent, while the government has decided to continue with existing slum redevelopment norms for Pune, Pimpri Chinchwad and Nagpur, where the incentives are even higher.

Officially, the government has justified that the sops will boost the creation of more affordable housing stock, but a section of town planners are wary that the high incentives might result in mushrooming of more illegal constructions.

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