Home owners will not be susceptible to blackmail New Bldg Approvals Will Cut Corruption


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Source TOI Dated 16/01/2012

Building permission rules in Mumbai gave huge discretionary powers to authorities, which were misused. The amended development control rules (DCR) will put an end to this. Areas which were not included in the building’s floor space index (FSI) were given to different developers differently, spanning a huge industry of corruption. The bribe amount does not go from the developer’s pocket. He recovers it from the flat purchaser. Ultimately, the burden falls on the citizen.
There was an even bigger problem. Free of FSI areas like flower beds, voids, ducts, lobbies, etc were sold by builders and covered into living areas. Thus, although the manipulation was done by the developer, the flat buyer was held guilty of violating the law. Action was taken against him and he was also open to blackmail by unscrupulous elements in society or even by BMC staff.
Many buyers did not know what was legally permissible and what was illegal to cover in their homes. Hence, they become liable for action. Now, under the new rules, the buyer will receive everything legally permissible only and there will be no danger of blackmail or action from the BMC staff.

Mumbai is terribly short of living space. People, by and large, need more area than what they have. New rules allow 35% more area in which number of rooms or room size can be increased, instead of flower beds, voids, lofts etc, in which one cannot live. Some people argued that this 35% extra be used only to build flower beds, niches, Elevational features and not to provide additional or bigger rooms. I did not agree with this. The choice should be with the flat purchaser. Those who want additional room or bigger rooms should have that legally and those who want balcony or flower bed or voids or other Elevational features, can have that too. New rules permit both choices and life will be easy for the common man.

Earlier, loft size in a room or kitchen was restricted to 25% of the area. If anybody made a bigger loft, action was taken as it was deemed illegal. Now, all restrictions are removed and people can put the loft in their house to the extent they like. Reconstruction of cessed building in the island city will greatly benefit by these rules. Tenants were eligible to get a minimum carpet area of 300sq ft in the redeveloped building. Now, in addition, they can received an additional 105 sq ft area for which FSI will be granted free of cost to the developer. The developer, at the most, will have to incur construction cost for this additional area.

Redevelopment of cessed buildings will also be easier because most plots are under 600sq m in size. Thus, the side margins on all sides of such reconstructed buildings have been reduce to 1.5 m. This will facilitate early redevelopment of cessed buildings. The 35% additional FSI on rehab buildings is also allowed free of premium in the suburbs. It will help existing tenants/society members to receive higher area on redevelopment.

From now on, all developers will receive equal treatment. It will not only eliminate corruption, but will speed up building approval procedures.

Land prices will also come down, which have been artificially kept high due to too much money being offered by some developers, who were able to get very high free of FSI areas by manipulating the system. This will stop. Land deals area already being negotiated at lesser prices now. The benefit will ultimately reflect in lower real estate prices in the future. 

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