THANE: High-rises may soon stand tall in the old Thane city and goathan areas following the builder-driven plans by the TMC to lift the freeze on incentive FSI that is currently applicable only for buildings constructed before 1974. If this comes into effect, then all buildings that are over 30 years old and are in a dilapidated state will be eligible for additional FSI. The proposal will be taken up for discussion and approval in the general body on May 20.
Radical changes have been proposed to the development rules whereby buildings that are 30 years and above will be eligible for the additional incentive of 15% of the base FSI if it goes for redevelopment. The FSI will determine the extent of construction that will be taken up in a particular plot. Simply put, redevelopment of buildings constructed in 1985 and prior will be eligible for an incentive FSI. In order to boost construction of high-rises in various areas, 30-year eligibility criteria will be applicable from the date a building's redevelopment plan is put before the town planning department.
''The earlier cut off year of 1974 has been scrapped. This cut off was meant to control the density levels, especially in Thane where buildings are being constructed at every nook and corner of the city,'' said a city engineer. However, a section of the officials from the TMC have argued that the incentive FSI was a necessity as most building were constructed in the 1980's and are currently in a dilapidated state. The cap on FSI was creating a major hindrance in the process of their redevelopment, he said.
At present, the old gaothan areas get an FSI of 1, on which 40% TDR is loaded and if the building is constructed before 1974 then the builder gets an incentive of 15% FSI, taking the total FSI to 1.55, sources said. Thane has nearly 1,061 buildings that are more than 30 years old. Of these, nearly 500 buildings have been constructed after 1974.
Meanwhile, some civic officials feel the proposed higher FSI will only profit builders. ''Higher FSI means more constructions. More FSI does not translate into creating affordable housing. In fact, prices will be out of reach of the common man,'' a civic official said.