Additional FSI for Mumbai?

Mumbai may soon get a higher floor space index, applicable across the city. The state government is considering a proposal to raise the floor space index (FSI) for the city from the existing 1.33 to at least 2.20 across the real estate sector.A team of state government officials is working with the World Bank to arrive at a common FSI for the island city and its suburbs where the permissible FSI is 1 at present, said the official. The FSI determines the ratio of covered area or constructed area to the area of a plot.An FSI of 2 means a 10,000 sq ft plot can have a floor area or covered area of 20,000 sq ft. On prodding from the World Bank, the state wants to get rid of the piecemeal approach to the FSI hike for specific locations or buildings under government schemes.An FSI of 2.20 would be part of a comprehensive policy on FSI that the state team and World Bank are working on, sources said. Initially, the state is likely to grant an FSI of 2.20 as a matter of policy for the city and its suburbs.“This will be granted as a realistic policy. An FSI of 1.33 is hardly enough to address the acute housing problem in Mumbai. The city is spread over 437 sq km, of which 87 sq km is designated national park area and a no development zone. The net developable area in Mumbai is limited and a higher FSI is required to make maximum use of this area,” the official explained. The higher FSI, however, will be applicable to parts of the city where the FSI continues to be 1.33 or 1, sources said. “It won’t apply to areas like Dharavi or old buildings which have already been granted an incentive FSI of 4 or more,” the official said. Sources said the World Bank was very specific about the haphazard manner in which some areas are being granted a higher FSI while their neighbourhood locations continue to use the old FSI. The World Bank, which has stakes in the Mumbai makeover programme as it is funding some of the projects, feels an inequitable distribution of FSI across the city and suburbs would lead to uneven development, said another official who is a member of the state team.The World Bank has insisted on a liberal FSI for Mumbai with equal emphasis on provision for basic infrastructure. In the past few years, the state government has granted a higher FSI as an incentive for some projects.For instance, developers who win the bid for Dharavi redevelopment will be given an FSI of 4 or even more. A recent Supreme Court judgement has cleared the decks for old buildings in the island city getting a much higher FSI. The state is also considering a higher FSI for locations near the stations along the proposed Metro. “In most projects, the incentive FSI is going to locations which already have a high population density and congestion. There is hardly any scope for infrastructure development in such places. The policy we are working on will address this anomaly,” the official said. The state will use the additional FSI to generate revenue, which in turn will address the city’s infrastructure-related issues. “A higher FSI will generate considerable revenue which can be used for infrastructure projects,” an MMRDA official said

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