HC quashes govt notification on extra FSI in Mumbai suburbs
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Last Updated: Thursday, June 10, 2010, 19:56
Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Thursday set aside Maharashtra government's decision to increase the Floor Space Index (FSI) in Mumbai suburbs.

The ruling also put paid to the state's plan to increase revenue by sale of additional FSI at a premium.

FSI indicates the construction permissible on a plot of land. In October 2008, government had increased FSI for Mumbai suburbs from existing 1 to 1.33.

It meant that additional construction was possible in suburbs. Government was going to charge a "premium", ranging between Rs 7,000 and Rs 23,000 per sq metre for this, depending on the locality.

A PIL filed by activists Amit Maru and Arun Gaikwad had challenged the notification on the ground that it would put enormous burden on civic infrastructure.

The division bench of Justices F I Rebello and Amjed Sayed today said that under the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning (MRTP) Act, 1966, government cannot charge any additional fee, or premium, so the notification was illegal.

The notification issued under MRTP Act was stayed by the court following the filing of the PIL.

But the court said: "MRTP Act does not provide for levy and collection of development charge (in this case a premium) by the development authority", therefore the notification was beyond the scope of MRTP act.

In the island city of Mumbai, FSI of 1.33 is already allowed. The proposal to increase the FSI in suburbs was first mooted in the state finance minister's 2008-09 budget speech.

The Finance Minister had said that by sale of extra FSI at a premium, the state can earn substantial revenue some of which could be used to create a development fund for minorities. According to the notification, some of the money earned would be used for infrastructure development.

State's advocate general Ravi Kadam had argued that additional FSI would bring the house prices in suburbs down.

Interestingly, the court did not take into account the other objections raised by the petitioners, such as burden on infrastructure which additional construction would have put, or its environmental impact.


First Published: Thursday, June 10, 2010, 19:56

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