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New DC rules diminish quality of life: Experts:articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.

com/2012-01-05/mumbai/30592303_1_errant-builders-openspace-ceiling MUMBAI: The new development control rules (DCR) to streamline building approvals, okayed by the CM on Tuesday, may succeed in reining in errant builders, but there is criticism that they do little to improve your quality of life. The policy's emphasis, activists said, is mainly on how much revenue the BMC can earn by charging builders for areas they used to earlier utilize illegally. While the intention is noble-to break the nexus of builders and civic officials who approve building plans-residents themselves are just an afterthought, they added.

The BMC, to give one example, has set restrictions on the height of the ceiling from 4.2 m to 3.9 m as it is often misused to add a mezzanine floor. Experts said limiting ceiling height in a humid city like Mumbai, just because the civic administration does not have the mechanism to check abuse of law, robs those who want high ceilings of that option. "It is the failure of the system to check the misuse, why should it reduce the occupant's quality of life," said an architect. "Not all can afford air-conditioning. For those who can't, a high ceiling with a fan means more air circulation. The new policy is penalizing the occupant who may not want to break the law." Housing activist P K Das said the reduction in the mandatory open space around a building to just 1.5 m means that highrises will be barely 10 ft apart from each other. "Lack of privacy, light and ventilation adversely affect quality of life. With boundary walls built within buildings with a meagre setback area, fire engines can never enter a plot and it is impossible to fight a fire at the rear of a building," he said. Das said when the policy was being formulated, he had suggested a minimum compulsory open space of 3 m around a building, although municipal commissioner Subodh Kumar had recommended 6 m. But many elected representatives, including Congress MLAs, protested. They countered that redevelopment projects in the island city would not take off because most plots are extremely narrow. Dr Altaf Patel of Jaslok Hospital said, "Noise and stress levels are going up, and lack of privacy is so great that it is causing frustration and mental problems."

Loft area to be included while calculating fsi for a tenement


Mumbai: The state government has realised that there has been little redevelopment of old cessed buildings even after allowing a hike in floor space index (FSI) from 2.5 to 4. To encourage tenants to go in for redevelopment, the state has now asked the BMC to modify development control rules to allow lofts and mezzanine floor area to be included while calculating FSI for a tenement. Eleven years after its decision to regularize all unauthorized lofts and mezzanine floors built in the city up to August 15, 1997, a proposal for this new amendment will be tabled before the civic standing committee on Friday. If cleared, it will be applied to all cessed buildings owned by Mhada, BMC and private parties. After the improvements committee approves of the proposal, the corporation will invite suggestions and objections from the public. Then, the state will finally clear the proposal under Section 37(II) of the DC regulations. Query: Our bldg. in Mumbai is constructed prior to 1940 and is classified as CESS bldg. by MHADA. We are tenants and had constructed a LOFT in our shop which was approved by BMC in 1979. Our bldg. has twice been repaired by MHADA and now it is proposed for redevelopment by our new landlords who have bought the building from court receivers auction in around 2004. Will the area of LOFT be included in the FSI calculations and benefit the tenants?

Modify rules on lofts, mezzanine floor, BMC told


http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2009-07-22/mumbai/28187940_1_lofts-cessed-buildingsbmc

MUMBAI: The state government has realised that there has been little redevelopment of old cessed buildings even after allowing a hike in floor space index (FSI) from 2.5 to 4. To encourage tenants to go in for redevelopment, the state has now asked the BMC to modify development control rules to allow lofts and mezzanine floor area to be included while calculating FSI for a tenement. Eleven years after its decision to regularise all unauthorised lofts and mezzanine floors built in the city up to August 15, 1997, a proposal for this new amendment will be tabled before the civic

standing committee on Friday. If cleared, it will be applied to all cessed buildings owned by Mhada, BMC and private parties.

The move, officials believe, will act as an incentive for tenants and facilitate the redevelopment of about 19,000 old buildings in the island city. "Often, tenants don't go for redevelopment when the developer refuses to compute mezzanine floor area under FSI on the grounds that such a move is either unauthorised or the rules prevent him from doing so. But the new amendment will change all that,'' said a senior BMC official. The state's decision to regularise all unauthorised lofts and mezzanine floors built in the city up to August 15, 1997, drew a lot of criticism at the time. Even the guidelines distinguishing lofts from mezzanine floors were not clear. BMC officials, however, insist that a lot has changed since then. For instance, previously, concrete lofts were considered as mezzanine floors. Now, only those lofts bearing a height of more than 5 ft is categorised by the BMC as a mezzanine floor. Anything under 5 ft is considered a loft. While lofts in most buildings are used as storage-cum-office, mezzanine floors, officials said, are being used for habitation purposes. After the improvements committee approves of the proposal, the corporation will invite suggestions and objections from the public. Then, the state will finally clear the proposal under Section 37(II) of the DC regulations

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