Development Plan 2034 – The Good, The Bad And The Unclear

Development Plan 2034 – The Good, The Bad And The Unclear

Ramesh Nair, COO – Business & International Director, JLL India

Development Plan 2034 has come up with maximum permissible FSI for each plot in Mumbai. Prima facie, the DP eliminates various premiums such as fungible FSI, staircase and open space deficiency and will creates further level playing field by eliminating many of the discretionary DP exemption powers of Municipal Commissioner  and Urban Development department.

The development plan encourages office space development by providing FSI of 5, 6.5 and 8 near railway and metro stations and by compulsorily creating new zones including commercial such as RC, CR 5. Freehold plots in South Mumbai will benefit with substantially higher FSI of 3.5, 5, 6.5 and 8. Earlier, the FSI was capped at 1.33 and higher FSI only came through parking infrastructure and in the case of cessed 33(7), cluster 33(9) and SRA 33(10) schemes. The general requirement of 15% for rural godowns appears to have reduced to 10% 7.

In DCR 1991, only parking was permitted under open spaces. GDCR 2034, however, adds electric substations, storage of harvested rain water, grey water harvesting plants, sewerage treatment plants etc. to area permitted under open spaces. 

The Positives

  • The new Development Plan proposes FSI to accommodate the expected increase in Mumbai’s population. Both the earlier DPs failed to plan for development suitable to a growing population.
  • The new DP acknowledges realities of existing developments and densities, and proposes a geographic distribution of FSI instead of a uniform FSI across the board.
  • Transit-oriented development is encouraged by higher FSI being allowed around stations.
  • The new DP finally removes all ambiguity around calculations of what is counted in FSI; now, there is nothing that can be built and not be accounted for as free of FSI. This brings in much-needed simplicity and transparency, and reduces the scope for manipulation.
  • The new DP acknowledges that new car depots near the areas of future population growths are critical for city to remain competitive and hence proposes new car depot at Aarey Colony. 

The Negatives

  • No clear time-frame for implementation has been outlined
  • For the Western Suburbs, higher FSI may be largely impractical because of the civil aviation funnel and road width requirements
  • FSIs of 6.5 and 8.4 will lead to further crowding of already traffic-congested regions such as Dadar and Andheri. 10% of built-up area in projects over plots more than 2000 square meters in area in the form of small tenements is required to be handed over to the MCGM
  • Developers are dis-incentivized from providing amenities such as swimming pools and clubhouses in their projects, as they are part of FSI to be paid for but do not generate direct revenue

Unanswered Questions

  1. Is fungible FSI eliminated?
  2. What happens to the circular on additional TDR linked to road width?
  3. What happens to parking FSI schemes?
  4. The DP does not clarify how higher FSI around stations would be managed to ensure that problems get solved instead of becoming worse. Would there be urban design interventions that go beyond what happens within a plot?
  5. The DP allows for reduced parking norms for residential developments in zones around stations. Without real enhancement of public transport in the form of more railway lines, is this fair to buyers of units in such developments?
  6. Will FSI incentives not be applicable for schemes like society redevelopment?
  7. If the assumptions made on income levels are correct, how does the DP propose to allow for housing for the majority of Mumbai’s population?  Will affordable housing remain a part of the puzzle that remains outside the DP’s consideration?
  8. If the population is expected to drop in wards A, B and C which have infrastructure, why does the DP not bring in levers that will incentives people to stay in these wards and make good use of existing infrastructure?
  9. How will power, water, road and drainage infrastructure for the excess housing stock be created?

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