By Accommodation Times News Service
The state cabinet has also decided to increase the floor space index (FSI) available for the ITPs, offering up to 100 per cent additional construction area for a premium even on NDZ lands to attract more such projects
Opening up more green zones for development, the state government has decided to amend its integrated townships projects (ITPs) policy to allow more construction activity in no-development zones (NDZ) and treat them on par with residential zones. The state cabinet has also decided to increase the floor space index (FSI) available for the ITPs, offering up to 100 per cent additional construction area for a premium even on NDZ lands to attract more such projects. With developers having to construct a certain percentage of low-cost homes as part of the special townships, the government expects the latest decision to also serve as another step towards its ambitious aim of housing for all by 2022. As per the policy, developers are required to build a certain number of tenements of 30 to 50 square metre for the economically weaker sections and lower-income groups, and sell them at a state-determined cost, officials said. The policy was rolled out in 2004 to create large planned townships with all physical and social infrastructure amenities in peri-urban areas. The scheme, which was sanctioned over a minimum plot area of 40 hectare, has however failed to draw much response.
An urban development department official said most of the sanctioned projects are in the Pune and Konkan divisions, with a lot of them being on NDZ plots.
According to the current norms, integrated township projects are allowed on an FSI of 1-1.7 in residential zones, depending on the size and location of the plot on the gross plot area. For green zones, as per prevalent rules, the developers get FSI of 0.6 to 1. Following the state cabinet’s decision, now special township projects in green zones too can get FSI on par with projects in residential zones, besides the additional FSI on a premium, paving the way for the creation of thousands of new homes in green belts. “Earlier, besides a lower FSI for green zones, developers were also mandated to keep 50 per cent of an NDZ plot vacant. Several developers had complained that the project was not viable. Meanwhile, the 50 per cent undeveloped lands on the NDZ plots continued to remain barren. So keeping all these issues in mind, we decided to make certain changes,” the official said.
The decision is the latest in a slew of measures to open up agricultural and NDZ plots. Last year, the state government had increased construction rights for industries on agricultural lands. This was followed by opening up of green belts along state and national highways for restaurants, malls and wayside amenities. Norms for conversion of NDZ plots up to 25 hectare into residential zones were also eased. Officials said changes had to be made to the integrated townships policy to make it more attractive. “We have decided to integrate smart-city elements: Developers will have to provide for round-the-clock water, energy-saving mechanisms, green buildings, a system for zero waste, etc. Developers will also have to link their townships with public transport to the nearest transport hub at their own cost. So FSI has to be enhanced,” he said.