The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has relaxed some norms and incentivised the redevelopment of thousands of dilapidated buildings across Mumbai.

The civic body’s rules apply to non-cessed and tenanted buildings — mostly buildings that were constructed between 1969 and 1996 — that are in a dilapidated condition.

With an aim to boost the redevelopment of such buildings, the BMC’s new policy will give developers 50% extra floor space index (a ratio that decides the buildable area on a plot) as a saleable component. The policy has also reduced the minimum consent required from the tenants of the buildings, from the earlier 70% to 51%.

Further, the eligibility criteria for beneficiary tenants has been fixed, they will be given a minimum of a 300 sqft house in the redeveloped building.

The state government charges a cess from residents of buildings constructed before 1969, as they help maintain these structures, repair or redevelop them under the Mumbai Repair and Reconstruction Board.

Largely, for structures built after 1969, the state charges no cess as all repairs and redevelopment work is left to the tenants and owners.

The BMC’s policy will cover all buildings where tenants have been residing before 1996, and which have been declared dilapidated or will be declared dilapidated by the civic body. According to one estimate, there are 50,000 such buildings in Mumbai that would benefit from the new rules, which have been incorporated in the new Development Control and Promotional Regulations 2034 through a modification. Civic chief Ajoy Mehta had cleared the new policy on December 1, civic officials said.

These non-cessed buildings are located across the city, but a majority are in the island city. Their redevelopment was stuck as developers were not given any incentives . Further, there was absence of clearly defined criteria for tenants. Under the new provisions, the BMC can decide the eligibility of tenants who would benefit from the redevelopment. The tenants have to submit 22 documents (specified in the policy) as proof that they have been living in the building from before 13 June 1996.

From the builders’ viewpoint, the significant change in the policy is the incentive FSI. They would get 50% extra FSI as a salebale component — for example, if there are 30 flats, each 200 sqft big, after redevelopment, every tenant will get a 300 sqft house ; the total area of the 30 houses will be 9,000 sqft and the developer will get 50% — or 4,500sqft that he can sell in the open market for profit.

A senior official from the development planning department said , “The new policy will ease and fasten the redevelopment of the non-cessed tenanted dilapidated buildings which are privately owned under the BMC jurisdiction. Earlier such incentives were given to only cessed buildings which is now extended to non-cessed buildings. This policy will prove to be stimulus for redevelopment of such buildings”.

Experts and housing activists say the new policy will be more beneficial for the builders.

Advocate Vinod Sampat, president, Cooperative Societies, Residents, Users and Welfare Association (Regd). said, “This policy would benefit at least 50,000 buildings both in suburbs and island city. The policy is more beneficial to the developers than the tenants themselves. However it will surely help in redevelopment because declaring a building dilapidated is not a big deal for the BMC if a developer wishes to do so.”

Shirish Sukhatme, a city-based architect, said: “The condition in this policy that the building has to be a declared dilapidated structure is not really going to pace the redevelopment process. This policy applies to those buildings which will be declared as dilapidated by the BMC which again is questionable and debated by the tenants or at times even manipulated by the developers. In case of cess buildings the condition is simple, more than 30 years, and which they should have extended in this case too. I do not believe that this is anything new and it will only help in deciding the eligibility of the tenants who will benefit from this policy.”

First Published: Dec 07, 2018 00:33 IST

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