Amended DCR doesn’t benefit suburbs, says MSWA
The Maharashtra Societies Welfare Association (MSWA) and suburban resident welfare associations of Mumbai have sought the withdrawal of new amended Development Control Rules (DCR). They said the changed rules had no significant benefit of FSI (floor space index) or open space concessions extended to the island city for the suburbs.
The DCR amendment came in January this year. The civic body hopes to garner approximately Rs 1,000 crore in premium collection. The square foot rate in of built-up space in the city varies from Rs 72,000 to Rs 20,000, while in suburbs it is between Rs 42,000 and Rs 7,500.
Under the amended regulations, areas such as terraces and swimming pools or individual apartment balconies and ornamental projections that were not part of the FSI would be included in FSI to prevent manipulations by developers. These areas come under a concept of compensatory FSI, in lieu of a premium levied on developers. The areas under.compensatory FSI called ‘fungible FSI` should not be more than 35 per cent of the total area of the apartment. Also, no premium will be charged for fungible FSI while redeveloping dilapidated buildings and in suburbs; the fungible FSI on the FSI already consumed in the existing buildings will be available free of premium. Some other changes include an option of 25 per cent more parking over the DCR limit without premium, which is also exempted in the FSI calculation.
The Maharashtra Chamber of Housing Industry had welcomed the amendments, and said only 20 per cent reservation for affordable housing in more than 2000 square metres plot redevelopment was detrimental to them. According to Mr Boman R Irani, Chairman, Rustomjee Group, there is no advantage for a developer in terms of the amendments, but it had done away with the discretionary power of the authorities, which makes sure that one and all know how much they can build on a plot of land. –
Suburbs are qualified for one FSI plus loading by way of transfer of developmene rights of one FSI, which they should purchase (total two). This is in addition to fungible FSI and a premium FSI of 0.35 (Grand total of 2.7). BAI has questioned the rationale behind the amendments.
While developers in the island city limit get 1.33 FSI, there are no open plots, and they benefit by the incentives given for redevelopment. There are more than 16,000 old buildings which are eligible for three FSI for redevelopment individually, and four, if developed as a cluster (if projects are amalgamated as one), they contend. Most of the old buildings are cessed tenements. With rents frozen for decades, owners of these buildings have either deserted them or are unable to maintain them. The government brought in a cess collection for these buildings from tenants for maintaining them in the seventies.
BAI said the existing provisions for the city allow three to four FSI in addition to compensatory FSI for the rehabilitation portion. Suburbs get one FSI in addition to TDR (transfer of development right) of one, and compensatory FSI of 35 per cent (calculated on one FSI). But these were capped by the open space regulations.
CITY AND SUBURBS
On open space requirement, in suburbs, it is six to nine metres on all sides of the building. For the city, it is six, and concessions can be extended to bring it down to 1.5 metres depending on the plot size.
Further, open space for suburbs is linked with the height of the building and individual sanction from the Brihanmurrbai Municipal Corporation Commissioner.
Mr Anand Gupta of the Builders Association of India said the open space requirement was primarily for fire safety and questioned how it could be relaxed for the city and retained for the suburbs. It was impossible to comply with the open space requirements in suburbs, especially in smaller plots.
Moreover, the Municipal Corporation has defined a special category of plots of less than 600 square metres in the city and made them eligible for reduced open space norms, he charged. More importantly, there were very few dilapidated tenanted buildings in the suburbs, and hence
redevelopment was by the residents themselves. So, there was no justice in denying suburbs the concessions doled out to old buildings in city. Moreover, the plot size in suburbs was far smaller with buildings of two to seven storeys.
Mr Ramesh Prabhu, Chairman of the Maharashtra Society Welfare Association, said a majority of the plots in the town planning schemes under WPD (juhu Vile Pane Development Scheme) were less than 600 square metres. These don’t qualify for any benefits under the open space regulation or rehabilitation component of the amended DCR rules as their counterparts in the city do.
MSWA’s Housing Society Review – 20 April 2012