‘Review floor space norms’
Move will help vertical growth in land-starved cities
In order to deal with the scarcity of urban land and give a major push to developmental works in metro cities, Union minister of housing and urban affairs (HUA) Hardeep Singh Puri has directed his officials to review Floor Space Index (FSI) and Floor Area Ratio (FAR) norms in the mega cities to ensure better utilisation of scarce urban land resources due to rapid urbanisation. Following the directions of the Niti Aayog, the HUA ministry has directed officials to relax Floor Space Index (FSI) and Floor Area Ratio (FAR) norms in urban areas to give a major push to urban development. If relaxation is given, it will boost real estste sector and higher floor space index could help ease land prices and aid vertical expansion of cities.
The move will also help in Value Capture Finance (VCF) through innovative urban-development funding and revenue generation by states and cities by tapping a share of increase in value of land and other properties like buildings resulting from public investments and policy initiatives.
In certain states, the term FSI is used, while FAR is the norm in other states. Both the terms are calculated by dividing the built up area by the area of the plot with some technical variations. While releasing the new metro rail policy 2017, Mr Puri directed the officials to take up a time bound review of these norms in all the 53 cities with a population of one million and above.
He suggested a review for state capitals with less than million population each in due course.
“The review to be taken up in consultation with states and cities is to cover an assessment of the existing norms and to what extent it could be enhanced.” The FSI which is followed in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu allows built up area in proportion to the land holding. If a plot has an area of 2,400 sq.ft., and if the FSI is 1.5, then the maximum area that can be constructed would be 2,400x1.5= 3,600 sq.ft.
This would be the total built up area across all floors subject to development restrictions.
In the FAR concept, followed in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Punjab, Rajasthan, Telangana, and West Bengal, there is also a maximum plot coverage ratio. For an FAR of 1.5 and a plot coverage ratio of say 75 per cent, not more than 1,800 sq.ft. can be constructed on each floor for the same 3,600 sq.ft. of built-up area.
The maximum permissible FSI limit for residential construction in Tamil Nadu is 1.5, in Maharashtra it is 1.33, and in Gujarat it is 2.00. In Gujarat, the FSI is very low in certain zones.