‘Treating FSI as a commodity will be disastrous for the city’
The draft development plan proposes higher floor space index (FSI) in few areas plus incentives in slum rehabilitation scheme and redevelopment of cess buildings in south mumbai
Feb 18, 2015
Source : The Times of India
Bombay Municipal Corporation


MUMBAI: The city's vertical development means problems in infrastructure and basic amenities, this is what experts feels. 

The draft development plan, which proposes higher floor space index (FSI) in few areas plus incentives in slum rehabilitation scheme and redevelopment of cess buildings in south mumbai. The DP has proposed highest 8 FSI in Dadar and Andheri near railway stations, the areas which is already congested while other areas like Kurla, Parel, DN Nagar will be eligible for getting 6.5 FSI. At the same time, the DP has proposed incentive FSI for the old buildings and SRA schemes in the low priced area like Malvani in Malad or Govandi while there will be less incentive in prime areas like Bandra or south Mumbai. The incentive FSI would be applicable for cessed buildings which falls under MHADA and most of them are in dilapidated condition located South Mumbai, building clusters, MHADA colonies, slums and cotton textile mills. 

Although the planner claimed that there would not be adverse effect because of more FSI as population would not be increase. "If the population does not increases there would not be pressure on infrastructure," said VK Pathak, an advisor for the BMC's draft Development Plan. 

"More FSI means immense pressure on infrastructure," said Pankaj Joshi, executive director of Urban Design Research Institute (UDRI), a charitable trust that helps the BMC to coordinate with various NGO's and citizen groups in conducting worksops on DP. "Theoretically the plan look good but practically it won't seems to be as it does not correlate FSI with infrastructure. FSI increases but in absence of the infrastructure will impact highly problematic," said Joshi. 

Aravind Unni, Architect-Planner for Youth for Uity and Voluntary Action (YUVA) also feels that the city would face problem. "While making the DP, planners must have forgotten about 50% population is living in slums and 80% tenants are living in one small room. Though, FSI has been linked with Transit Oriented Development (TOD), which is fine but there is no affordable housing anywhere in the DP. And the excess FSI would be surely a problem," said Unni. "Like last DP this DP also seems to be no visible steps towards addressing the city's most pressing challenge that is affordable housing. Higher FSI did not translate into the 11 lakh affordable housing," added Unni. 

About slums Unni said, "Our demand has been to reserve slums as 'public housing' reservation. Instead of overview the amenity map shows only some slums have been reserved and designated as housing. Simultaneously there are slums marked to be planned for 'local area plans'. In both cases these reservations have made random without detail survey. A logic behind these reservation has not been given." 

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