DP pushes ver­ti­cal limit, to cramp peo­ple into less space

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Ku­nal Puro­hit ku­nal.puro­hit@hin­dus­tan­times.com

MUM­BAI: One of the most densely pop­u­lated cities in the world may get more crowded, again.

The civic body has de­cided to in­crease the num­ber of homes that can be built on a sin­gle plot of land. The move is likely to have a cas­cad­ing ef­fect — not only will this pave the way to cramp more peo­ple into a sin­gle plot of land, but it will also bur­den an al­ready crum­bling in­fra­struc­ture.

In its newly re­leased devel­op­ment con­trol reg­u­la­tions (DCR 2034), the Bri­han­mum­bai Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion (BMC) has de­cided to in­crease to 450 the num­ber of homes that can be built per hectare. In the 1991 DCR, it was 342 for the sub­urbs, and 406, when the is­land city was con­sid­ered.

Even the city’s new draft devel­op­ment plan (DP), which was scrapped last year, pro­posed to al­low only 250 homes per hectare.

To in­crease this fig­ure to 450, ex­perts said, will bring on dan­ger­ously high pop­u­la­tion den­si­ties.

On paper, this is a mi­nor change. But here are two rea­sons why this will have a ma­jor im­pact.

First, un­like in 1991, this DP is propos­ing to open up some 3,000 hectares of land from erst­while no devel­op­ment zones, port trust lands and salt pans. The se­cond rea­son is the bur­geon­ing ef­fect this will have when com­bined with the ceil­ing-high floor space in­dex (FSI) cur­rently al­lowed — quick cal­cu­la­tions by HT show just how crowded the city will get when re­de­vel­oped un­der the new rule.

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