Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Mumbai may see more high-rise buildings as BMC proposes new norms

The Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai has suggested that the minimum height for a building to fall under the high-rise category be increased to 32 metres from 24 metres earlier


MUMBAI: The skyline of India's commercial capital may change if two proposed amendments are approved, leading to the addition of more high-rise buildings. The Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai has suggested that the minimum height for a building to fall under the high-rise category be increased to 32 metres from 24 metres earlier.


Apart from this, an expert committee appointed by the state government has recommended that the civic chief be made the sanctioning authority for buildings up to a height of 120 metres, or about 40 floors.


Urban planning experts said these moves will help simplify and expedite approvals for real estate developments across the city.


"The decision will improve the redevelopment potential of several dilapidated buildings across Mumbai. This will also help in making much-needed open spaces available and reduce corruption as it will reduce one layer of approvals," said Shirish Sukhatme, former president of the Practising Engineers, Architects & Town Planners Association.



Currently, permissions for buildings up to 70 metres or 21 floors are sanctioned by the municipal commissioner, while developers are expected to seek app rovals from the high-rise committee for any structure above this height. According to architects, approvals used to be delayed because the committee meets every three months and sometimes even after a gap of several months.


"The proposed changes are good for overall development, including redevelopment and improving infrastructure in already highly dense Mumbai city," said Gaurav Gupta, director, Omkar Realtors & Developers. "Earlier norms set in 1990s are not in sync with the advancement in technologies in the last two decades." According to Gupta, the developer delivered the 247-metre Omkar Alta Monte tower in Mumbai's Malad suburb in less than the scheduled three years due to the deployment of advanced technologies.


Vertical growth is also expected to get a boost with the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai's proposal to increase the base floor space index (FSI) of 2 for the entire city and allow the transfer of development rights to be used anywhere.


Several high-rises are coming up in the northern part of Mumbai along the Western Express Highway due to the wider availability of land compared with the southern part of the city. The shifting of the Central Business District from Nariman Point to Bandra-Kurla Complex and the emergence of prospective office centres in Andheri, Goregaon and Malad belts are leading to increasing demand for residential and commercial properties around these areas.


According to property consultants, more than 25 tall towers will be developed along the Western Express Highway in north Mumbai from Andheri to Borivali and Dahisar over the threefour next years.


As per the current norms, any building over 24 metres high is expected to provide six metres of open space from the road.This stipulation is holding back the redevelopment of several old and dilapidated buildings across the city. The revised height definition for high-rise buildings will pave the way for the redevelopment of these buildings in high-density localities, experts added.