Monday, April 9, 2012

Buildings may get taller as Panel seeks higher FSI

The skyline of Indian cities could soar as the government considers permitting vertical growth with the aim of checking runaway realty prices and generating resources to upgrade urban infrastructure for future growth.

A Planning Commission steering committee, in its draft report, has recommended providing additional FSI (floor space index; the ratio between built-up area and plot size) as development rights, but said it should not come free of cost.

The panel said the charges for additional FSI and land-use conversions should be at least 50% of the circle rate in the area and should be determined professionally. It added that additional FSI should be permitted selectively.

The commission’s steering group on urbanization said the revenue from grant of additional FSI should be “suitably ringfenced for funding infrastructure projects to sustain higher FSI”.“The proposals, if accepted, would substantially increase availability of housing stock and moderate realty prices,” said an urban development ministry official.

Calling the present density regulations in Indian cities “archaic”, the report noted that Indian cities had the lowest FSI in the world. “This (densification) should be part of a balanced strategy for expanding the effective supply of prime land and, in the process, raising funds to finance urban infrastructure improvements,” the panel noted.

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