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Old Posted Jun 16, 2007, 2:40 PM
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Jai Jai is offline
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Join Date: May 2004
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Space Conflict. HIGHER FSI: - That's the Mumbai makeover mantra
The state government is seriously contemplating to raise of the FSI from four to eight. However, the Supreme Court's decision disallowing FSI beyond four has not gone down well with the state administration. Even environmentalists and social organisations are supporting the SC decision as they are opposed to further burdening Mumbai.

Shubhangi Khapre takes a look at both sides of the story Govt request The state govern- ment is going to constitute a panel of experts to study and make presentations be- fore the SC in favour of more FSI for Mumbai

TOI Epaper, 09 Jun, 07

The state government is contemplating the adoption of a flexible urban development and housing policy with provisions to raise the FSI (Floor Space index) from four to eight. However, they are tight lipped as the Supreme Court has expressed reser vations on higher FSI. The state government is going to constitute a panel of experts to study and make presentations before the court in favour of more FSI for Mumbai. The administration also reckons that it will also have to tackle the infrastructure challenges simultaneously.

The Supreme Court's decision disallowing FSI beyond four has not gone well with the state administration. Environmentalists and social organisations have lauded this decision. The Chief Minister exercising great caution and reflecting the human face of the housing policy stated that increase in FSI to attain the specific housing projects that help to break the barriers of class will go a long way in redevelopment. Deshmukh is also quick to add, "Extra FSI coupled with planned infrastructure development is essential for the city to transform itself into international financial hub. The government is confident to address the infrastructure challenges along with extra FSI." City planners maintain that the redevelopment of the city which promises to provide shelter to one core population will have to rise higher and there is no more space for horizontal growth. Ramanand Tiwari, principal secretary, urban development ministry, said, "At the moment I don't think we are talking of matching Dubai's 40 FSI. We are speaking of adopting a flexible policy on FSI, which does not become a road block for redevelopment of city.

At the same time I must emphasize that we cannot violate the Supreme Court's norms." The secretary of housing department, Swadhin Kshatriya said, "Unless we are allowed to utilise extra FSI it will be impossible to rehabilitate slums dwellers and redevelop the old dilapidated buildings. The constraint on FSI will hamper the process of redevelopment."

It is mandatory for the government to provide 225 square feet houses to slum dwellers residing in city before the year 2000. 60 per cent of the total population of Mumbaikars is estimated to be slum dwellers. Another challenge is providing affordable houses to the lower and middle class. Notwithstanding various options to generate more space, the administration is convinced that higher FSI is the only route to expedite its pending projects. It admits that all the other related aspects such as restricting the migrant flows to decongest Mumbai, development of adjoining satellite townships complete with greater employment opportunities and civic infrastructure will have to be taken on a war footing.

The scrapping of the Urban Land Ceiling Act (ULCA), the release of the salt pan land, relaxing coastal regulation zones are some of the alternatives for making more land available. In the monsoon session of the state legislature assembly, the government is going to scrap the ULCA. The decision will help in release of thousands of acres of private land for commercial exploitation. At the moment nobody knows whether private players will allow the land use for residential complexes or not.
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