Mantralaya has all but passed a proposal to allot the high FSI to redevelopment projects in the satellite city; builders fear infrastructure there doesn’t have the capacity to take such a large influx of population
The State government is all set to grant a historic Floor Space Index (FSI) of 3 to City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO), for the purpose of redevelopment projects of its buildings in Navi Mumbai. This FSI is the highest ever permitted for any redevelopment project in the entire state.
Nearly 500 buildings will be redeveloped using the new FSI
Sources in the government said the proposal has received an in-principle nod and will be passed by the urban development department soon. There are nearly 500 such buildings that will be up for redevelopment, after which taller buildings with more units would come up. These projects would result in many shifting to the satellite city, a prospect not many builders are comfortable with.
Maharashtra Chamber of Housing Industry (MCHI) is a private body of builders. Its secretary, Manohar Shroff felt that the new FSI would benefit everyone, as CIDCO would get more housing stock and development would double. “I expect that with the excess supply, the existing rates in Navi Mumbai will come down. For example, in Vashi, the prices will come down to Rs 10,000-Rs 15,000 from the existing Rs 20,000-Rs 25,000,” he said.
Builders, however, will only be able to utilise 2.5 of the 3 FSI provided. The remaining 0.5 will go to CIDCO, to develop their own housing stock, which the planning body shall sell via lottery to people from the Lower Income Group (LIG) at affordable prices. Unlike in Mumbai, where the society members choose a builder to redevelop their homes, here, CIDCO will float tenders for refurbishment projects and appoint a builder for a job.
Builders feel the satellite city’s infrastructure doesn’t have the capacity to withstand the influx of population the taller buildings will cause. According to a builder, Vashi has nearly 3 lakh people and the present infrastructure cannot even handle this. “With a twofold increase in population, the infrastructure will need an upgradation.
Else, there will be traffic jams, leakage from sewage pipes and other such problems,” he said. “This (decision to give FSI 3) will impact the infrastructure of the city,” said Arvind Goel, president of MCHI-Navi Mumbai.
The decision is also said to have political motives and is a tussle between the Congress, which leads the state, and the NCP, which runs the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC), and is dominated by Ganesh Naik, guardian minister for Thane district. With state body CIDCO gaining prominence here, it is seen as a move to reduce the NMMC’s role in the development of the city.
The tendering process to appoint a builder is also seen as a plan to thwart Naik’s clout. “Had it been the society choosing the builder for redevelopment, Naik would’ve bulldozed his way through most proposals. But, with the tender process, there will be a free and fair chance for all,” said another builder.
Sanjay Bhatia, vice-chairman and managing director of CIDCO, confirmed the development, saying, “We had sent the proposal for FSI 3, along with many other plans, to the government three months ago. We are awaiting their reply, but I think the proposal should have no problem being passed.”