In a bid to regularize unauthorized construction in Thane city, the state urban development department (UDD) has recommended a 2.5 floor space index (FSI) incentive scheme for old and dilapidated buildings.
A report of the committee headed by the director of town planning was forwarded to chief minister Prithviraj Chavan last month, said Mantralaya sources.
However, town planners, architects and developers in Thane said the 2.5 FSI would not solve the problem of unauthorized construction. In 2005, Ulhasnagar was granted an FSI of 4. But officials said such a high FSI was not possible for Thane as its infrastructure was not well-developed and the city did not have such a high-carrying capacity.
Planners and architects argued that areas such as Wagle Estate, Rabodi, Kalwa and Mumbra had already consumed FSI of 4-6. A Thane civic official said the government risked being called “biased and discriminatory” should it fix a cap of 2.5 FSI for the city’s redevelopment.
“The MMRDA’s rental housing project in Thane has been granted an FSI of 4. The state agency is building homes on open plots. Key issues such as infrastructure overload, population density, future traffic problems etc were never considered when the higher FSI was granted,” said a source.
The bureaucrat said in the case of redevelopment of old buildings, the developer would have to fund the rehabilitation of tenants, including free homes. “It is unlikely that any developer would come forward to redevelop old properties given the cap on FSI. So, in effect, the government initiative would be restricted on paper.”
Officials said the BMC rule for old/dilapidated buildings should be made applicable to Thane; it would ensure a profit for the builder and provide an incentive to carry out redevelopment. UDD officials said the incentive FSI would not be given to buildings that had come up on plots reserved for public amenities and CRZ land, besides buildings close to hazardous industries. “A little over 5,000 buildings are expected to benefit from the incentive FSI,” said a source.
Source: The Times of India, Mumbai