Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
For years, Mumbai’s real estate industry has been pointing out that we need to go vertical; and that we should take a leaf out of the development in port cities in other countries, like Singapore and Dubai, said Niranjan Hiranandani, MD, Hiranandani Communities. “In such situations, like what Mumbai faces, going vertical is the practical solution, so long as it is supported by creation of adequate infrastructure to meet the increase in density of population in that location,” he added.
The Mumbai Municipal Corporation has recommended an increase in permissible floor space index (FSI) from the present level of 1.33 to 2 and in some cases even up to 5. The current FSI is 1.33 in the island city and one in the suburbs. The new Development Plan (DP) proposes raising it to 2. The proposal includes an FSI of 4 for affordable housing; similar FSI will be granted to township projects.
For buildings to be developed by state-run Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority, 4 FSI will be granted from the present level of 2.5 to 3, which will give a fillip to affordable housing in Mumbai and suburbs, he added.
Similarly, for construction of five-star hotels and commercial development, an FSI of 5 has been proposed from the present level of 3 to 3.5, which is good for Mumbai’s commercial real estate segment. Similar is the proposed FSI of 4 proposed for Malls, said Niranjan Hiranandani.
The proposal has to be tabled before the Municipal Corporation, and can come into effect only after its approval by the general body, let us not jump the gun here, said Niranjan Hiranandani. “Any such proposal will have some who will oppose it – and in their opinion, they may have good reason for doing so. My perspective is that Mumbai seems to have little other option, so the right way of going about this proposal would be to ensure that it is done the correct way, so that it actually solves the problem and does not further complicate the situation. Ensuring that the beneficiaries actually get the homes they have been looking out for is essential, as also ensuring that infrastructure is created to ensure the enhanced FSI does not result in creating new challenges,” he added.
As part of the Hiranandani Group Companies’ growth in other locations, 23 Marina Tower in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was conceptualized by Niranjan Hiranandani. “It was the world’s tallest all-residential building when constructed,” he recalls. “The scenario in Dubai in the UAE is that infrastructure has to be proportionate to the expected density of residents; and this is what has enabled Dubai’s real estate to soar skywards. In Mumbai, meeting the required quantum of housing by increased FSI can be a success so long as this aspect of ensuring creation of required infrastructure is ensured,” he added.
If the proposal to increase FSI is passed by the Mumbai Municipal Corporation, it has the potential to create much-needed housing stock in Mumbai. “This is a proposal that will need support from citizens, as also time-bound infrastructure development so that Mumbai’s home seekers finally get to see their dream homes become a reality,” he concluded.
Niranjan Hiranandani is Founder & MD, Hiranandani Group. His recent initiative is Hiranandani Communities. He is the Founder and First President (West), National Real Estate Development Council (NAREDCO), which works under the aegis of Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation, Government of India.