A luxury residential project stands under construction in Mumbai (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

FSI Increased For Residential, Commercial Buildings In Mumbai

Policymakers have paved the way to develop Mumbai vertically.

The Mumbai Development Plan 2034 approved by the Maharashtra government increased the floor space index, or the extent of development allowed on a piece of land, for both commercial and residential buildings, according to officials of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s Town Planning Department present at a press briefing by Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta today.

FSI In Island City

  • Residential: 3
  • Commercial: 5

Earlier: 1.33 across commercial and residential projects.

FSI In Suburbs

  • Residential: 2.5 Vs 2 earlier.
  • Commercial: 5 Vs 2.5 earlier.

FSI is the ratio of the total area to the built-up area. A higher FSI means developers will be able to build more on a given plot. And that usually happens by adding floors. Mumbai, already ranked the world’s second most crowded city, is home to nearly 2 crore people.

A higher FSI had been a demand of the industry for long, Niranjan Hiranandani, managing director of the Hiranandani Group, told BloombergQuint. “We'd been saying that instead of selectively increasing FSI for slum rehabilitation, redevelopment of hotels or IT parks, you should increase it universally on the lines of what the government of India had been projecting. I think it’s a positive outcome that we have brought the FSI up to three.”

Anuj Puri, chairman at property consultant Anarock, said those who want to sell their large land parcels will benefit. “The FSI in those land parcels has gone up; consequentially, the value will have gone up.”

Also Read: Mumbai To Get 3,650 Hectares Of Barred Zone, Salt Pans For Development

One key change from the earlier plan is that FSI has now been linked to the width of the road, Nitin Kareer, principal secretary of urban development for the Maharashtra government told BloombergQuint. “Wherever you have road width, you'll get higher FSI. Obviously there’ll be little more FSI available in the island city than in the suburbs. It will depend on the existing infrastructure.”

Every development plan document has two or three big things. One is about reservation, the second is about the zoning and what’s the type of development that will happen. Third is about the infrastructure and the way that is going to be planned. And what’s the type of money and where will that money come from. So all these things are part of the development plan already.
Nitin Kareer, Principal Secretary-Urban Development, Maharashtra

He added that any enhancement of FSI is always accompanied by direct increase in the infrastructure and that is a part of the document already. Direct correlation has been brought in with FSI and wider roads. “Wherever you have road width, you'll get higher FSI.”

Watch the full interview with Nitin Kareer here.

The Challenges

Even as most of the industry lauded the new development plan, there are some who believe that although it would definitely increase the number of housing units being created but would do little on lowering the input costs or size of the houses.

There's a lot of FSI that has been unleashed but it’s not clear how this will pan out, and also the numbers don't add up, Rishi Aggarwal, urban development expert and environmentalist, told BloombergQuint.

The DP document says that we are planning for almost 20 sq mt per capita, which means the apartment sizes should go up. But if you see the papers we are celebrating 300 sq ft apartments... So it seems there will be a huge burst of units coming up, whereas in terms of livability of the city, we might be just building a lot of vertical additional slums.
Rishi Aggarwal, Urban Development Expert and Environmentalist

With higher FSI there is a linked-premium and these premium are quite high, said Mayur Shah, managing director at Marathon Nextgen Realty.

“The input cost in Mumbai isn't coming down. Bringing affordability back into the city just by increasing FSI, I have my doubts with that. Taller buildings will have higher costs,” he said.

However, Rohit Poddar, managing director at Poddar housing, believes that the new norms give us parity with global standards.

“It’s not necessary that massive FSI would come up but its important to note that now it is viable that the FSI norms have actually been raised. Also in Mumbai, the important thing is we have been losing the cover because the prices are expensive. So if the FSI norms would go up, the prices would naturally be amortised over high FSI,” he said.

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