BMC weighs options to rehabilitate Campa Cola residents
Nov 15, 2013
Source : The Times of India


MUMBAI: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is examining the option of taking back a part of the plot in the Campa Cola compound from a builder, who had acquired third-party rights without the civic body’s permission, for the FSI required to accommodate the occupants of the illegal flats. BMC commissioner Sitaram Kunte will present the option to the chief minister on November 15.

A senior bureaucrat said on November 15 the plot belonged to the BMC but its permission was never sought for the transaction. “If the illegal flat owners have to be accommodated, then the lease (on this plot) will have to be cancelled and new flats constructed on that land,” the bureaucrat said.

It will not be an easy process to regain this land but the thinking in the top echelons of the civic body is that it will have to do so if it wants to find the FSI necessary, the officer said.

Further, even if the land, or a part of it, is given to the illegal residents, its land-use will have to be changed from industrial to residential for construction to be allowed. But officials think it is not an intractable problem and the government can do it easily.

Still, the big question is who will pay for the land. The current market rate in the area is Rs40,000-50,000 per sq ft. The state government may have to allot it at a much subsidized rate, but even then it could cost a hefty sum. Whether the residents will be able to afford it will have to be seen.

The proposal will have to be ratified by the improvements committee and the general body of the BMC. With most politicians professing their support for Campa Cola residents, this is not considered to be tough now.

The government is also eyeing the additional FSI under the 1991 development control rules, which exclude lifts, common passages and staircases from FSI calculations. But with the plot falling under the Coastal Regulation Zone II, this would require huge concessions from the government again.

The Supreme Court had on Wednesday asked attorney general Goolam Vahanvati to submit a proposal for the rehabilitation of the owners of the illegal flats. Vahanvati informed the court that all the flat owners could be rehabilitated in the premises of the same society, and the illegal flats could then be demolished.

“Vahanvati had made the submissions before the Supreme Court after consulting BMC engineers and bureaucrats,” the bureaucrat said. “Now, we’re drafting an action plan on the rehabilitation. The BMC commissioner had a brief meeting with advocate general D J Khambata on the rehabilitation plan.”

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