Mumbai: In a bid to shake off criticism that it was granting additional building rights in an arbitrary manner, Mhada has come out with a new policy decision that aims to put a stop to the practice of awarding building rights in the form of floor space index (FSI) on a first-come-first-served basis.
FSI would now be granted equally to low income group (LIG), middle income group (MIG) and high income group (HIG) constructions that the housing board undertakes.
A division bench of Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice J P Devdhar has asked all parties in a public interest litigation on the issue to respond to the policy by February 28.
The court’s directions came on a PIL filed by NGO Awaaz Foundation against Mhada’s policy of granting FSI, especially in the Gandhi Nagar area in Bandra. According to the petitioners, there was a gross misuse of FSI and unutilised FSI meant for LIG constructions were given to the HIG buildings.
Mhada’s affidavit, outlining its new policy that was approved by the Maharashtra government in October 2007 was submitted to the court by assistant government pleader G W Mattos. The revised policy would be applicable with respect to redevelopment of housing colonies, for the grant of extra FSI to cooperative housing societies, small plots and plots reserved for recreation grounds.
People from economically weaker sections, who apply for tenements in LIG constructions, now have a reason to cheer. The new policy has proposed increase in the carpet area in LIG tenements from 30 sq mts to 45 sq mts. Mhada informed the court that the proposal would be implemented once the Urban Development Department of the state approves it.
Giving up the policy of first-come-first-served basis for grant of additional FSI and equal distribution of FSI would now mean that unutilised building rights of one group cannot be allotted to another group. However, Mhada clarified that the housing societies can use Transfer Development Rights and other FSI for the constructions according to Section 33 (5) of the Development Control Regulations.
The new policy would be applied retrospectively and cooperative societies that were already granted additional FSI according to the previous policy would now have to pay a premium. The amount would be a percentage of the Ready Reckoner rate of the year of allotment of the FSI, the affidavit stated.
Source: The Times of India
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