A last-minute attempt by a developer delegation to convince the civic chief to exclude under-construction projects from the rigmarole of seeking fresh approvals under the new rules fails
In a first, a developer plans to halt work at two construction sites, even demolish the plinth and seek fresh approvals under the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC’s) new building rules.
Approved earlier by the state government, the amended development control rules allow developers utilise 35 per cent extra area for residential projects and 20 per cent for commercial buildings.
For this compensatory floor space index (FSI) the BMC will charge a premium and intends to collect around Rs 1,000 crore each year. As the BMC insists the new laws apply even to under construction buildings which had received permissions under the earlier rules, most builders with ongoing projects are upset.
To add to the mess, the city’s municipal commissioner Subodh Kumar has said further sanctions to complete ongoing projects will be given only under the new rule.
Sometime back, the city’s developers met with the commissioner and pleaded with him to exclude under-construction buildings saying it would affect their calculations and ruin the design of their projects.
Mr Kumar, however, told the delegation to avail of the compensatory FSI and pay a premium for it. Reportedly, a city developer wrote to the commissioner just last week that it would revise its plans for two residential projects which have already commenced in two suburbs. He added that he would demolish the plinth of one plot so that the building could be designed differently after the new plans are approved by the BMC.
Incidentally, most developers would misuse the building concessions granted by municipal commissioners in the past and areas like flower beds, ducts, car decks, which were free of FSI, were illegally merged to make the project bigger.
The developer would go on to sell these areas to the buyer at market rates. At times, free-of-FSI areas were included to create almost double the size of the permitted built-up area. The amended DC rules have put a halt to this.
Incidentally, with this move, over 500 projects that had received preliminary approvals from the BMC or are currently under development, are directly affected.
The building proposals department has sent back all these project files to the respective architects and asked them to resubmit their plans.
Once in receipt of the reworked plans, the building proposals department will scrutinise and re-submit all such plans to the BMC chief engineer in 15 days.
Finally, a project file will be sent to the commissioner just once for clearance. The civic chief will only approve staircase premium, compensatory FSI and relaxation of open spaces surrounding a building.
Also, according to the new rules, the developer needn’t necessarily use the compensatory FSI for flower bed, balcony, voids, elevation features etc.
The FSI can be used for these purposes and/or for enlarging the room sizes, and / or for additional rooms and / or for more dwelling units, according to a BMC circular.