Mumbai: Extending rooms into balcony to be legalised but, at a heavy price

Mar 10, 2018, 11:04 IST | Chetna Yerunkar

City's most common building irregularity set to become legal if you pay up

Representation pic
Representation pic

If you have made illegal alterations to your balcony, the upcoming changes in the Development Control Regulations (DCR) 2034 will help regularise them, but not before breaking your bank. For under-construction buildings and those without an Occupancy Certificate (OC), DCR will have a migration policy. Thus, if the developers want a higher FSI, all they would have to do is submit a fresh proposal, according to DCR 2034, and get new permissions.

For under-construction buildings and those without OC, the DCR will have a migration policy. Representation pic
For under-construction buildings and those without OC, the DCR will have a migration policy. Representation pic

This is among the changes being made to the draft DCR and Development Plan (DP) 2034 before they are released. For the DCR, the changes are being made to align it to the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA). So, even if alterations — like taking the balcony area inside - have been made to your building, the new DCR will allow their regularisation, but only after the payment of heavy penalties.

Migration policy
However, for under construction buildings and those without OC, the DCR will have a migration policy. So, if the developers want to use a higher FSI, all they would have to do is submit a fresh proposal according to DCR 2034 and get new permissions. A civic officer said, "In the past, some so-called activists were taking advantage of violations carried out in the buildings and blackmailing them. But once the new DCR comes in, Floor Space Index (FSI) violation cases in buildings having OC, where balconies have been taken inside, could be regularised."

"There will also be a paragraph in the new DCR about a migration policy from the 1991 DCR permissions to the new ones as well, which will help many commercial, under construction buildings that have been stuck for years for lack of FSI to start afresh, just by submitting fresh plans," said the officer. Another major change being made by the state government in the draft DCR is altering the definition of 'carpet area', to include the area occupied by walls, as per RERA regulations. This will help ensure that same plans are submitted to both BMC and RERA.

However the rehabilitation houses will be left out of this and will continue with the old definition. Explaining this, a civic official said, "As it is, we give approximately 300 sq ft and if walls are included, the actual carpet area might have gone down by almost 40 sq1 ft. The developers would have gotten more incentive had we increased the area from 300 to 340 sq ft. Hence, we have allowed rehabilitation houses to continue with the old definition, where walls are not included in as part of the carpet area."

Sanctioned this month
mid-day tried to reach BMC chief Ajoy Mehta, but he remained unavailable for comment. A senior officer from the DP department said the DCR and DP are with the state government and will likely be sanctioned this month.

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