Change in BMC rules, high-rise again on high note

By Accommodation Times News Service

Slump in the real estate market and rising inventory notwithstanding, developers are launching a slew of multi-storeyed projects with BMC’s high-rise committee having cleared 62 such proposals between January and June 2013. This is more than five times the number of proposals it had cleared between June 2012 to December 2012. The technical high-rise committee is responsible for clearing building projects with a height of more than 70 m or around 22 storeys. The committee, a concept pioneered in 2004, is reconstituted every three years and is currently in its third term. It scrutinizes building proposals in relation to various aspects such as environmental and infrastructural sustainability, and availability of the mandatory open space around the building.

The committee had received 76 proposals this year up to June. A majority of the proposals cleared is buildings with more than 40 storeys. These are mostly in the eastern suburbs and the island city, civic officials said. Developers and experts are attributing the spurt in the number of proposals coming to the table to the streamlining of the processes in the committee. In the past three years, members have gradually brought in more clarity on terms of reference while assessing projects and efficiency in clearing them.

The first technical high-rise committee was functioning between 2004 and 2007. In three years, the first committee had received 87 proposals, of which it cleared 65 per cent. The second committee, which functioned from 2007 to 2010, received 161 proposals. It approved more than 80 per cent.

The current committee has received 205 proposals so far. With three months to go for its dissolution, it has already cleared 70 per cent of them. “The increased need for public parking, which these projects provide, coupled with an increase in the availability of fungible Floor Space Index (FSI), seems to have led to the increase in proposals,” municipal commissioner Sitaram Kunte said.

According to Section 33 (24) of the Development Control Regulations (DCR), new construction on a plot of over 1,000 sq m in the island city and over 2,000 sq m in the suburbs gets additional FSI of up to 4 if the developer agrees to build public parking lots and hand over these to BMC free of cost.

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