Devendra Fadnavis lifts FSI cap
Builders redeveloping slums in Pune would now get up to 300 per cent area incentives. In a contentious move, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has overturned the cap on the incentive component that was imposed by his predecessor Prithviraj Chavan.
In 2014, the former chief minister had curtailed the incentive floor space index (FSI) for slum projects in Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad, on the basis of complaints that builders were making undue profits. Fadnavis has now recalled his predecessor’s decision.
On January 11, the Fadnavis-led Urban Development department issued a notification proposing a revised FSI incentive formula for slum projects in Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad. While the new formula has proposed incentives based on location of the slum plot, senior government sources confirmed that the upper limit for the incentive had been enhanced to 300 per cent of the rehabilitation component.
Chavan had earlier capped the maximum incentive FSI to 200 per cent of the rehabilitation component in Pune, and 225 per cent in Pimpri Chinchwad. Incidentally, in Mumbai, where every second resident lives in a slum, the government provides up to 100 per cent sale incentive to slum developers. Several questions are being raised over Fadnavis’s move, especially as land rates in Pune and Pimpri are far lower than those in Mumbai.
Around two lakh families reside in slums in Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad. According to information, the Pune chapter of the Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Associations of India (CREDAI-Pune) had been demanding lifting of the cap. Sources further said that the political class in Pune, too, had been pushing for hiking the FSI.
Ironically, sources confirmed that both the housing and the urban development departments were not in favour
of a universal hike in FSI, which is when the formula to link the incentive to the slum location was finalised.
Justifying the move, a senior official said the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (Pune), while making a case for higher sale incentives, had pointed out that since 2014, it had received just nine proposals for slum development. It also pointed out that before Chavan introduced the cap, the Authority had received 31 proposals.
Chavan, when contacted, slammed Fadnavis’s move. “It is entirely pro-builder and anti-city,” Chavan said. “We had curtailed the incentives after finding that builders were availing construction rights up to ten times the plot size. The builders were benefiting at the cost of the city,” he said.