CM Prithviraj Chavan's 200-acre gift for airport operator

In his final act of ‘benevolence’ before the assembly elections were announced, Prithviraj Chavan increased global FSI for GVK’s SkyCity project from 4 to 5, which effectively allows the company an extra 200 acres of space to construct

Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan seems to have given GVK a parting gift of 200 acres in the form of additional floor space index (FSI), before the state goes into poll mode to decide the next government. A notice was issued in this regard in all newspapers yesterday, stating that an additional global FSI of 1 was being allowed over and above the maximum permissible FSI limit of 4.

10 per cent — 200 acres — of the overall 2,000 acres of land near Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) is available for real estate development to GVK.

Gold mine: 10 per cent — 200 acres — of the overall 2,000 acres of land around the international airport is available for real estate development to GVK. File pic

The company, which constructed the swanky Terminal 2, had earlier received an FSI of 4, allowing it to construct up to four times the 200 acres. Now, with this additional global FSI, the company will be able use five times — 1,000 acres — the space to monetise the expenses it incurred in construction of the airport.

GVK’s SkyCity project around the airport will have luxury, mid-market and budget hotels, serviced apartments, a convention centre, entertainment centre, and retail and office spaces.  File Pic for representation

The notice was accepted by the CM-headed urban development department on September 9, and a public notice was issued in newspapers yesterday.

The notice clearly mentions that the extra FSI was granted on the basis of a request from Mumbai Airport International Ltd (MIAL), a joint venture between a GVK-led consortium and the Airports Authority of India.

‘CM the last word’
Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) is the special planning authority for CSIA and the power to sanction extra FSI lies with the Metropolitan Commissioner U P S Madan. However, CM Chavan, who ultimately heads the MMRDA, asked Madan to grant the additional FSI. A senior MMRDA officer said, “The CM is the one who takes such decisions; the bureaucrat (Metropolitan Commissioner) is just asked to implement it.”

The fresh FSI has been categorically provided for the notified area around the airport where GVK is planning to build its ambitious SkyCity project, which will include luxury and budget hotels, commercial spaces, serviced apartments etc. While GVK’s official spokesperson didn’t comment on the matter, an official, on condition of anonymity, told this paper, “I cannot tell you why MIAL asked for the extra FSI, but the FSI is for SkyCity, a mixed-use project with hotels and commercial spaces.”

Last month, MIAL sold 5.47 acres of land within the CSIA notified area premises to Oasis Realty, a developer, for R580 crore — a rate of R106 crore per acre. Taking this rate into account, GVK is set to earn an additional R21,200 crore from the sale of extra space created by the bonus FSI.

According to GVK SkyCity’s website, the project has a development potential of two million square metres (nearly 500 acres). With the additional FSI, this number will surely increase. The development is set to include luxury, first-class, mid-market and budget hotels, serviced apartments, convention centre, entertainment centre, and retail and office spaces. The project will take around 10-12 years to be completed.

Rs 21,200crore
Additional income GVK is set to earn from the sale of space after the increased FSI

10-12 years
Time it will take for the GVK SkyCity to be completed


Repeated attempts to get a response from MMRDA’s Metropolitan Commissioner, U P S Madan, proved to be futile. Strangely enough, Uday Samant, the state urban development minister from the NCP, had no clue about the developments going on in his own department. “The CM has taken this decision. The file hasn’t even reached me,” Samant stated.

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