Fungible FSI – an incomplete solution!

By Ar. GauravSanghavi, MD, Pentaspace Consultants Pvt. Ltd.

By Ar. Anmol Warang, CEO, Pentaspace Consultants Pvt. Ltd.

Floor Space Index (FSI) is the ratio of permissible built-up area vis-à-vis the land size. For example, if the land size is 1,000 sqft and if the FSI granted is 2, then one can construct twice the plot size, i.e. 2,000 sq ft. Anything over this is either illegal, or requires special permission from the civic authority.FSI thus is the most important factor in determining the development potential of any plot. Over the years,almost all developers and builders have been using mindboggling tactics to obtain more than the permissible development potential on plots. One of the most used ones is that developers would invariably seek concessions and relaxations for free of FSIcomponents, ornamental projections or features like flower beds, dry areas, niches, ducts, order to build more and get sanctions by discretionary powers of authorities. Due to the limitations of the Development Control Regulations (DCR), it was difficult to determine the need or authenticity of these elements for the project, while there so was an evident ambiguity in its grant. All developers would build about 30 to 40 per cent more than the permitted FSI. Eventually they would either skip these features and add the additional space in some other form or would create such features and then compel buyers to include them in the flat area once the OccupationCertificate was granted by the MCGM. These “Free of FSI” areas were included in computing area of a flat by Builders/ Developers and sold to the consumers at a market price under the garb of Super Built Up area or Useable area or saleable area of a flat, or by whatever name given. The developers would thus rip off the buyer by charging for every inch of this external space at the same rate as that of the legal space although nothing of it was accounted for in the plot potential. It is safe to say that ‘air’ was being sold, at the rate of diamonds.

In an attempt to put a final halt against these practices, the DCR were amended.It is a step towards curtailing malpractices propagated by developers by envisaging a compact plan where all areas are included for the computation of FSI and a cap is fixed so that there is no room to manipulate the rules by creating excess non-habitable areas and overcharging consumers. The most important reason for the conception of amended development regulations has been unidirectional – ‘stop rampant malpractice, while generating revenue for the MCGM’.

Nowall areas such as balconies, flower beds, terraces, voids and niches would be counted in the Floor Space Index (FSI) and shall no longer be available as ‘Free of FSI’ areas as was the norm earlier.In order to compensate for the loss of ‘Free of FSI’ areas, developers now avail of ‘Fungible Compensatory FSI’, which may be used like regular FSI. The word ‘fungible’ suggests something that is freely exchangeable or replaceable, in whole or in part, for another of like nature or kind.Fungible FSI to the tune of 35 per cent for residential development and 20 per cent for industrial and commercial developments has been allowed with premium. Fungible Compensatory FSI may also be used to construct larger dwelling units and/or to construct additional dwelling units. Hence, it may be used in the same manner as regular FSI.

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2 thoughts on “Fungible FSI – an incomplete solution!

  1. Great writeup guys !!!!. I think increase in FSI is not the solution for MUMBAI specially as the city is still not ready for High rise buildings. There need to be a “PAN -INDIA” policy for development / construction which will not be area / region / state speciifc & help in decongestation of overall areas incoprorating many breathing spaces.

  2. one q, who is responsible to pay the fungible FSI amount, for e.g. i am allotted additional 100 sq ft as part of design changes by builder which comes under fungible fsi, is builder is supposed to pay this amount or the owner? appreciate if you clarify

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