In a bid to achieve Modi’s government mission of ‘Housing for All’, the long-awaited Mumbai Draft Development Plan (DP) 2014-2034 is in final stages of approval and likely to be implemented in 2017. The draft includes detailed provisions for affordable housing and the opening of additional land resources in No Development Zone (NDZ) and salt pan lands to make affordable housing a reality in Mumbai. Colliers believes that the upcoming DP would not only decide the spatial framework of the city but also enhance plot potential with updated Floor Space Index (FSI) and Transfer of Development Rights’ (TDR) norms in the island city. However, the proposed FSI is much less than the international standards and unlikely to bring any major change in the skyline of the city, as per our opinion.

“The development plan of Mumbai is focused on affordable housing. Although, it is aligned with the ‘Housing for All’ agenda of the Government, implementation will remain the key. Keeping in view the current infrastructure, the restricted increase in FSI seems logical. The sudden increase in FSI may result in more infrastructure-related problems, thus it is unlikely to bring major changes in the city skyline. Nevertheless, the upcoming DP-DCR norms, opening up of new land resources and the new transit oriented policy, if implemented, should increase the plot potential through higher FSI and address the shortage of land availability to some extent”, said Surabhi Arora, Senior Associate Director, Research, Colliers International India.

The DP also proposed a permissible FSI of 4.00 for affordable housing projects aimed at bringing down the percentage of land cost per residential unit. Colliers believes that the DP norms are well aligned with the central government norms to give a push to affordable housing supply in the land-starved city like Mumbai. Colliers expects that the opening of NDZ land for affordable housing will encourage the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model between developers and the Government to build affordable houses.

The Maharashtra DP has remained restrictive on the increase in FSI. The current DP proposed only small amendments in the FSI norms including TDR allowed in Island city that will bring the permissible FSI to 2.00, residential and commercial developments in suburbs and extended suburbs will be able to use FSI of 2.00 and increase in FSI up to 4.00 for MHADA redevelopment projects as opposed to the previous FSI of up to 3.00. In our opinion, the rationale behind not increasing the FSI significantly is lack of adequate infrastructure in Mumbai. The sudden increase in FSI may result in more infrastructure-related problems, thus we believe that proposed FSI norms are justified and are unlikely to bring major changes in the city skyline.