BMC Commissioner defends higher FSI, says it will reduce prices of homes

Defending the relaxation of FSI in the draft of the new Development Plan (2014-34), BMC Commissioner Sitaram Kunte on Friday claimed that the move would help in curbing the skyrocketing housing prices.

Kunte said, “In earlier DP we had set limitation for FSI because of which beyond a point there were no constructions being allowed. Due to this, a huge gap had been created between supply and demand and price of houses have gone up.”

Kunte added, “The proposed relaxation will help in creating more houses and this will definitely bring the price of houses down since gap between demand and supply will reduce. Also Mumbai doesn't have much space left so we have to create it from available area.”

The draft DP has also caused an outcry since it proposes development in 'green' Aarey Milk Colony. Activists and citizens are against this move and want to prevent any development in the area since they fear the city will lose the only green cover left.

Kunte said, “There is no space left so we have to make such type of provision on existing land. If anybody has objection or suggestion then they can tell us after 3rd April when the draft will posted online and be open to the public for scrutiny. The DP is only proposed and not yet finalized and so we will consider any suggestions.”

As per the draft policy, which is expected to be implemented soon, the BMC has hiked the floor space index (FSI) to 8.

While the FSI in the island city is 1.33 and in suburbs is 1, the proposed FSI will remain constant throughout the city once the policy is implemented.

Decoding the ‘8’

As per the new policy, a developer constructing a building with the base FSI of 2.5 can purchase another FSI of 2.5 (Premium A) by paying 70 per cent of the ready reckoner rate.

In addition, the builder can also use the Transfer of Development Right (TDR) of 0.5 and buy another FSI of 2.5 (Premium B) by paying 100 per cent of the ready reckoner rate. This takes the total FSI to 8.

The BMC has fixed the new FSI slabs at 2, 3.5, 5, 6.5 and 8. In the draft policy, the civic body has calculated the FSI as per the project’s proximity to a railway or Metro station.

For example, a project that is closer to Dadar station will be granted an FSI of 8 against the FSI of 2 for a building that is away from the station. The BMC claims that this will open the property market and make it competitive. 

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