Affordable prices in the offing? Mumbai prepares for a spurt of high rises
Mumbaikars should prepare for a spurt of high rises as the city's civic body has unveiled a draft development plan for the next 20 years which envisages a city growing vertically along transit corridors with a variable floor space index ranging from 2.5 to 8.
Mumbaikars should prepare for a spurt of high rises as the city's civic body has unveiled a draft development plan for the next 20 years which envisages the city growing vertically along transit corridors with a variable floor space index ranging from 2.5 to 8 FSI.
FSI is the ratio of a building’s total floor area to the size of the piece of land upon which it is built. An FSI of 1 means that the area of construction should be equal to the area of the plot—for example, a plot of 10,000 sq ft can only have a built-up area of 10,000 sq ft and no more.
"Higher FSI is really good from the perspective of bringing more supply into the market and the way that this works is that on a given piece of land you are allowed to construct more. In Mumbai maximum cost escalation in the sale price of projects is because of the higher land cost. Now on the same land if you are able to build more, as a result of it, per square feet price will start to come down and that will really help the buyer. Because majority of the cost that is reflected in residential buildings is the cost of the land and now on the same piece of land if you are being able to build more FSI it will automatically bring down the cost on a per square feet basis, which hopefully should get reflected in the reduction in the sale price," Anuj Puri of Jones Lang Laselle told Firstpost.
An FSI of 2.5 to 8 implies that a structure on a plot can have a built up area of 2.5 to 8 times its size— i.e. more high rises. The earlier development plan had prescribed 1.33 FSI in the island city and 1 in suburbs in a bid to contain population growth and density. The new plan has delinked FSI from density and linked it to transit-oriented development.
So Mumbai has been divided into five zones and permissible bulk FSI is based on the area’s future potential, its proximity to transit stations and the existing levels of FSI consumed. The majority of land area (58.12 percent) falls under 3.5 FSI.
An FSI of five and above is only provided in areas well accessed by public transport, mainly areas in proximity to Railway stations and the existing and upcoming Metro stations. About 36.92 percent of the city’s areas that are closer to transit modes such as railway stations and metro stations will be given a high FSI of over 5 while bulk FSI of 6.5 and eight has been provided in the immediate vicinity of major Railway stations close to central business districts and other employment nodes.
So the areas that will see a high use of FSI include Churchgate and Hutatma Chowk, Dadar-Parel, Kurla, Ghatkopar, parts of Andheri, Malad and Borivali, which have high transit density and along proposed transport corridors and business hubs. For example, For example, a project that is closer to Dadar station will be granted an FSI of 8 against the FSI of 2 for a building that is away from the station. The BMC claims that this will open the property market and make it competitive.
The objective maybe to increase housing and commercial supply to generate employment and growth but the BMC has unveiled no plans for upgrading infrastructure to decongest the city. According to experts, the development of infrastructure must go hand in hand with an increase in FSI.
Milind Mhaske, project director at Praja Foundation, was quoted as saying in Times of India that proposing a higher FSI in dense areas will not help bring down prices (of real estate). "Highly dense areas like stations are already overburdened and giving out higher FSI in those areas means increasing the population further," he rued.
" We need to look at how we are going to upgrade the infrastructure in areas where higher FSI is going to be granted because if the infrastructure does not come through, I think it will become just a nightmare to live in the city of Mumbai," cautioned Puri.
Moreover, DP 2034 allows the use of FSI as an incentive only in cases of the redevelopment of slums and old cessed buildings, but the transit-oriented development model of allotting FSI do not take into account other factors that determine the carrying capacity of a region such as water supply, sewerage, storm water drains.
Thirdly, the new DP provides for mandatory parking spaces in residential and commercial land use. Earlier staircases, parking area or lift were counted as free of FSI. This means that the builders will only be able to develop 70 percent of the available FSI. So if a developer gets an FSI of 8, he would be eligible for using only 5.6 FSI.
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