Mumbai redevelopment update

In line with its policy to encourage the redevelopment of a cluster rather than individual buildings, the state is likely to propose a rise in the minimum size of a cluster from the present 4,000 sq m to 5 acres.The idea, say officials, is to have enough space for redevelopment of a cluster of buildings and to provide basic support infrastructure.The state also proposes to reduce infrastructure development charges for clusters from Rs 7,000 per sq m to Rs 5,000 sq m. The state may impose the same amount of infrastructure charges on builders redeveloping single buildings. At present, individual plot redevelopment does not attract infrastructure charges, thus having an advantage over cluster development. Sources said senior officials from the urban development and housing departments, Mhada, BMC and town planning held a series of meetings in the recent past to decide on measures that would help lure developers to cluster development.There is a feeling among policy-makers that builders going for redevelopment of single plots may pay the infrastructure charges but may not provide anything on ground, citing space constraints.Against this backdrop, sources said, officials from the housing and urban development department favoured having bigger clusters. “As of now, the draft notification on cluster requires a minimum area of 4,000 sq m and provides an FSI of 4. But there is a feeling that a plot measuring 4,000 sq m, just an acre, is not enough to redevelop a clutch of buildings along with support infrastructure,’’ said a senior UD official. As a result, there is a move to have clusters with a minimum size of 5 acres, explain officials.“With 5 acres, a developer will be expected to go for total renewal of an old area. Such a cluster should have everything—internal roads, sewage, stormwater drains, dispensary, post-office, school, police chowky and gardens,’’ said an official. Significantly, officials said they might not close the option of clusters of less than 5 acres. But, even for mini clusters, developers would have to provide roads, sewage pipelines and stormwater drains as basic support infrastructure, the officials added. Changes in the draft for cluster development, said officials, would be notified by October-end. “These changes would then be open for public scrutiny,’’ said an official. Sources said an expert committee headed by the municipal commissioner might be formed soon to identify a cluster and propose basic facilities in it. “The committee, comprising civic officials, town planners and architects, will identify a cluster separated by a road or a nullah or has some clear geographical demarcation,’’ said the UD official.

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