Three cheers to the Government of Maharashtra who has opened yet another gate to lure the Developers undertaking the redevelopment projects of old and dilapidated buildings in the South Mumbai to avail of additional Floor Space Index (FSI) with a catch that the Developers may have to pay more for availing the said incentive FSI under the Public Parking Lot scheme in the city.

Motorists match brainpower with each other almost all hours of the day in trying to find a parking spot at a bustling neighbourhood of South Mumbai.  For the nearly 25 lakhs vehicles plying on the city's roads, there are less than 150 legal lots operated by Government agencies, Municipal Corporation, Railways, the MMRDA and the MSRDC all put together are not enough to solve the problem. Regional Transport Office statistics showed that the number of cars plying on city roads has more than doubled in the last seven years. 

While as per the recent amendment to DCR 33(7) an FSI of 3 is already permitted for redevelopment projects involving cessed buildings, the latest move could fetch FSI of 4 available to a Developer with a condition that he has to construct a Public Parking Lot on a plot measuring over 1000 sq. meters in city and over 2,000 sq metres in the suburbs and hand it over free of cost to the BMC.

In 2010, the State Urban Development (UDD) Department had issued a circular disallowing the FSI benefit against construction of Public Parking Lots in the case of cessed and cluster redevelopment projects.

As per the recent information, the Government of Maharashtra has decided withdrawal of this circular, thus allowing the FSI incentives against construction of Public Parking Lots to be applied in the case of cessed and cluster redevelopment projects too.

While Cluster Redevelopment Projects are already eligible for an FSI of 4, the move could bring cheer to Developers involved in redevelopment of cessed buildings benefitting one such construction project in Saat Raasta in South Mumbai and another one in Mahim in Western Suburb of Mumbai could be the immediate beneficiaries.

However, it is opined by experts that the BMC cannot make such a regulation through a circular and must amend the DC Regulation 33(24) which provides for granting incentive FSI to Developers who construct Public Parking Lots and hand them to the BMC free of cost as such move of mere withdrawal of the earlier circular is against the spirit of the policy to incentivise construction of Public Parking Lots and is discriminatory in its nature.

The Government of Maharashtra has approached the Union Environment Ministry allowing the Public Parking FSI Policy to be applied in the case of redevelopment projects in areas affected by Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ).