Cluster redevelopment under Development Control Rules i.e. DCR - Sect. 33(9) is a form of land development where principal buildings and structures are clubbed together on a site for redevelopment and a major portion of the site is left open for recreation and infrastructural facilities.

The State Government has unveiled a new housing policy for Mumbai’s Suburban Regions which are now set for a massive makeover with paving the way for redevelopment of unsafe tenanted buildings, old colonies, transit camps and dilapidated MHADA colonies, with a slew of incentives with a permissible FSI of up to 4 under the Provisions of Sect.33(9) of DCR.

In a reprieve for the State Government, the Bombay High Court had vacated a stay in the year 2017 granted on allowing increase in Floor Space Index (FSI) for new buildings proposed to be constructed in Navi Mumbai under the State's Cluster Redevelopment Scheme.

The main catch is that while the minimum requirement to get a project under cluster redevelopment is 4,000 sq. mtrs in the Island city, the eligibility criteria for Mumbai Suburbs and extended Suburbs under the scheme has been enormously hiked to 10,000 sq. mtrs.

However, the said scheme of cluster redevelopment, framed in 2009 as an Urban Renewal Scheme, redrafted in 2014, does not have a single success story to its name. Its success remains in question since this scheme has been a slow starter with many hurdles in the Island City since the last decade. It seems that the simultaneous implementation under DCR 33(7) for a singular tenanted building and DCR 33(9) for a cluster redevelopment has clearly conflicted with each other.

The first project of cluster redevelopment covering 6.75 acres in Lalbaug area of Mumbai City Region to have taken off is still mired in red-tape and faces the threat of being abandoned.

Another example is of Saifee Burhani Upliftment Project which is undertaking over a massive area spread across 16.50 acres at Bhendi Bazaar. The said project is currently struggling to convince approximately 600-700 tenants out of 6,000 tenants to move out of the premise. These tenants now fear that their dream of living in a decent dwelling may turn into a nightmare as the structures they are living in are beyond their age to sustain any mishap and any further delay in redeveloping them could prove disastrous.

This kind of scheme requires lot of patience and finance as also a handful of tenants can derail the entire project. With the current market slump, it is very difficult for any Developer to undertake an area of 10,000 sq. mtrs for redevelopment and obtain the consent of hundreds of flat owners living there besides this; there are planning constraints, no proper approach road or no proper access to the plot. Under such a situation, it becomes critical that a cluster approach is adopted as it involves the amalgamation of plots for organised development. It may be noted here that the unauthorized constructions are not to be taken in account while computing FSI.