Mumbai DP: City To Go Vertical; 10 Lakh Affordable Homes In 20 Years
Its time Mumbai gears up for some major policy shift and tectonic changes in infrastructure development plans. Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis had unveiled Mumbai’s Development Control and Promotional Regulation 2034 (DCPR 2034) on April 25 which would now enable vertical development in the region. However, experts are still doubting its feasibility as it has retained controversial provisions which might not go well considering the city’s present infrastructure.
Here are the key highlights of Mumbai Development Plan 2034:
The main focus of DCPR 2034 is affordable housing as it has proposed 10 lakh homes to be built in next 20 years. Apart from this, 2,200 hectares of No-Development Zone (NDZ) has been reserved for building affordable homes which also includes 130 hectares of saltpan land. NDZ are those restricted areas that are protected from development. These land parcels have now been termed as special development zone (SDZ) and will be opened for the redevelopment of affordable housing and civic amenities.
The floor space index (FSI) for island city has been increased from 2 to 3 provided the width of the road is 9 metre. This would bring in taller buildings in the main city. FSI of 5 has been proposed for all kinds of commercial buildings which will lead to vertical development in the already congested hubs of Lower Parel, Elphinstone, Mumbai Central etc. Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has dumped the concept of variable FSI and it would remain common for all kind of commercial structures. The FSI for slum colonies has been increased to 4. For societies older than 30 years, 15 per cent additional built-up area will be allowed for each unit without any premium.
The carpet area of flats for tenants in the mill area has been increased to 405 sq ft. This would majorly benefit those chawls that will undergo redevelopment. Also, separate development control rules will be formulated for construction in gaothan and adivasi areas.
Buyers will now be able to modify flats as the development plan has made a provision to design rooms in the building as per usage.
Changes in land use
All areas of Aarey Colony has been protected as green belt except the 30-hectare land which has been reserved for metro car shed. Another 250 hectares area has been kept reserved for the zoological park in Aarey.
Around 12,000 hectares of land has been reserved as natural areas such as wetland, mangroves and hills. No development will be allowed in such areas unless the permission comes from the Ministry of Forest and Environment.
To promote the development of slum pockets, the DCPR makes it compulsory to utilize at least 20 per cent transferable development rights from rehabilitation projects for slum dwellers. Also, new regulations will be brought for those structures for which redevelopment is restricted by authorities such as civil aviation, defence and railways.
More open spaces
Around 300 acres of green space will be added in Cuffe Parade. No construction will be allowed in such spaces. Along with this, rivers, creeks, nullahs will have buffers which will be counted as public open spaces. Majority of the new space will be created through land reclamation.
Transit-oriented development (TOD)
The DCPR has given an in-principle approval to TOD with higher FSI around metro, monorail and coastal roads. The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has proposed TOD for all metro corridors to fund the development. In fact, higher FSI will be provided for development within 500 meters of two corridors- Metro 2 and 4 as suggested by the state government to promote walk to work culture.
Shortfalls and challenges
- The DCPR has backed several provisions that have caused controversies in the past. This includes opening up of Aarey for construction and more FSI around congested corridors.
- TOD is feared to lead to more severe congestion in already crowded areas in the city. The plan was proposed in earlier forms of DP but was later rejected. The final DP has given an in-principle approval to higher FSI around transit corridors.
- The DCPR 2034 has come up with a transit policy that will allow regularization of illegal floors. In the past few years, there has been construction in excess of the allotted FSI. Such structures will now be legalized on payment of a penalty.
- The Watchdog Foundation has demanded that a thorough study should be undertaken by the central government as using saltpan lands act as a barrier and using this area for housing might trigger floods.
- According to India’s second National Communication submitted to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, sea level is projected to rise by 3.5 to 34.6 inches between 1990 and 2100 which may result in saline coastal groundwater, endangering wetlands and hampering valuable land and coastal communities. One of the most vulnerable stretches along western Indian coast will be Mumbai. Another report by the environment ministry has stated that Mumbai will be the worst affected by the sea level rise, salt water intrusions and land loss.