In what is likely to impact several major real estate projects in Mumbai,the Supreme Court Tuesday ruled that developers will have to mandatorily set aside a minimum 15-25 per cent of the plot size at the ground level towards open recreational spaces. Many buildings in the recent past have been creating such recreational spaces at the podium level and adding it to the open space at the ground level to fulfil the minimum 15-25 per cent open space norm.
In its order,the court said,The minimum recreational space as laid down under Development Control Regulation (DCR) 23,cannot be reduced on the basis of DCR 38 (34). The recreational space,if any,provided on the podium as per DCR 38 (34) (iv),shall be in addition to that provided as per DCR 23.
DCR 23 requires a minimum 15 per cent open space in a building with a plot size of 1,500-2,500 sq metres,20 per cent for plot sizes 2,500-10,000 sq metres and 25 per cent for plot sizes over 10,000 sq metres. DCR 38 (34) relates to podiums. The amendment (iv),introduced by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation in January 2012 to DCR 38 (34) states that the recreational space prescribed in DCR 23 may be provided either at the ground level or on open to sky podium.
This rule will affect more than 60 per cent of real estate projects,especially the highrises in the city. With an increased need for basement and podium parking,there is very less space for open recreational space on the ground, said Paras Gundecha of Gundecha Developers.
In July,the Supreme Court had came down heavily on excessive construction of skyscrapers in the city. Expressing concern about their adverse impact on urban life,it directed the state government to explain relaxations in height restrictions and compulsory greens.
The court was hearing the BMCs challenge to a Bombay High Court order of July 2012 that quashed a civic stop-work notice allowing construction of a 13-storey parking lot by Kohinoor CTNL Infrastructure Company,promoted by Manohar Joshis son Unmesh Joshi.
The court had observed that the recreational space available at the ground level was reduced to a mere 7.7 per cent of the area of the plot as against the required minimum of 15 per cent.