Breathing space gets a new lease of life

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A Supreme Court ruling on open spaces in Mumbai plugs a loophole exploited by developers, setting a precedent on development control norms across the country. A Supreme Court ruling on open spaces in Mumbai plugs a loophole exploited by developers, setting a precedent on development control norms across the country.
SummaryA Supreme Court ruling on open spaces in Mumbai plugs a loophole exploited by developers.

level will not get them anything, but if it is converted into commercial spaces, he can get good money. The developer purposely keeps minimum space on ground level and blames it on ramps for parking. He then creates parking on the podium and sells them at a huge price to the buyers. He will not earn anything from parking lots on the ground level as it cannot be sold legally.”

Chaitiani adds that gardens and recreational spaces can be charged as super built up area, which would not be possible by creating them on the ground level. “In short, the order takes away their huge back-door margins. Developers cannot admit to this practice. They therefore say the order will delay projects and lead to price rise.”

The Impact

MCGM receives about 400-600 proposals for various types of developments every year. The civic body earns around Rs 1,500 crore from different charges and premiums. However, after the Supreme Court’s order, MCGM has stopped clearing files related to this DCR and has also sent a circular to concerned departments, associations of developers and architects to strictly follow the ruling.

The municipal commissioner Sitaram Kunte said the ruling is now the law of the land and the Corporation would not approve any proposal violating these rules. Practically all the proposed projects in the island city would be affected.

“This will further delay the projects and may push up the prices which are already very high. Besides, MCGM will lose huge revenue,” says a developer in central Mumbai who requested anonymity.

Buyers, however, have welcomed the order. “The ruling is for the newly proposed projects. Why should it delay projects already underway?” asks Nita Parikh a buyer who is waiting for the prices to correct in the western suburbs of the city. “The developers are scared about delay due to this order but why are they not explaining why almost all the projects are already delayed. They began much before this order. It is an excuse to justify future delay,” adds Parikh.

After the MCGM has started cracking the whip, plans are going back to the drawing board. This could delay projects by 4-6 months.

“No developer was in a hurry to start the construction before the results of the general elections. So frankly speaking, the delay will not be because of the ruling,” says Mahesh Mehta, a property consultant. “As far as the impact on prices are concerned,

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