In a bid to unlock new areas for development in Mumbai, the BJP-led government in Maharashtra has plans to alter the city’s coastline.
Even as the debate on city’s new draft Development Plan rages on, the state government has approached the Centre to lift floor space index (FSI) curbs in areas falling under the coastal regulatory zone (CRZ).
As per the latest Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP), about 40 per cent of habitable area in the country’s financial capital falls under the CRZ zone.
While such areas are government by the 1967 Development Control norms that impose restrictions on floor space index and disallow utilization of TDR (transfer of development rights or floating FSI), Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said on Wednesday that his government was working closely with the Union Environment Ministry to apply the same rules applicable in non-CRZ regions to such areas.
Development Control regulations formulated in 1991 are currently applicable to non-CRZ areas that pave way for utilization of higher FSI. “The entire city must be governed by uniform DC norms,” Fadnavis said. Prithviraj Chavan, originally approached Centre with the demand.
The withdrawal of 1967 DC norms for such areas would also lift restrictions on commercial and industrial development in such coastal belts.
Official sources said that the state was hoping that the regime change kicks in before the city’s DP plan is revised. The draft new DP has adopted rules that liberalise FSI use. The Union Ministry’s plans for CRZ areas can be incorporated in the new DP itself, sources further said.
Meanwhile, Fadnavis said that his government had plans to approve Mumbai’s proposed new DP by year end. In response to criticism over the phenomenal increase in FSI and exploitation of green spaces in the DP, Fadnavis quipped, “The proposed plan is not final. It will undergo changes based on suggestions and objections received from various sections.”
But Fadnavis, however, reiterated that the state government won’t permit commercial exploitation of the Aarey milk colony, the city’s biggest green lung. “Our effort would be to preserve green spaces. I’m willing to have discussions with citizens groups in this regard,” Fadnavis said. He however supported the plan to utilise portions in Aarey for public purpose projects.