Mumbai’s Development Control and Promotion Regulation 2034 (DCPR 2034) is a blueprint for the growth of the city, in terms of improving infrastructure facilities, easing construction bottlenecks and addressing issues like redevelopment and slum rehabilitation and ensuring increased availability of residential and commercial spaces. The DCPR 2034 document was first unveiled by the state government in May 2018, and thereafter, comments and suggestions were invited from the public and experts. After several changes, the government has released the latest DCPR 2034. The extent of alterations, from the previously proposed draft, has left many developers and real estate experts surprised.
According to Jaxay Shah, president, CREDAI National, the Mumbai DCPR 2034 can act as a smart development model, for other metros and upcoming cities in the country. “These guidelines will transform the possibilities of development in Mumbai and will benefit all industry stakeholders. Higher floor space index (FSI) in the region, will provide a boost to all segments, especially affordable housing, while also resolving the congestion issues in Mumbai to an extent,” Shah maintains.
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Shishir Baijal, chairman and managing director, Knight Frank India, adds that “The policy provides clarity and focus for the future development of Mumbai. The development plan (DCPR 2034) is a crucial policy, which can shape the future of our city. Hence, it should be given paramount importance. The current DCPR 2034 has several positives and is a step in the right direction. However, we believe that there will be areas to work on further.”
Some of the salient points of DCPR 2034 that can support the Mumbai’s development story are:
- Permissible FSI now linked to road width: Now, skyscrapers will only be allowed, on roads where there is sufficient supporting infrastructure, to ensure that there is no congestion in the area.
- Minimum road width of 12 metres for getting higher FSI for commercial towers: As traffic movement tends to be greater around commercial buildings, the minimum requirement of road width of 12 metres, for higher FSI, will reduce traffic congestion around the commercial buildings.
- Defining carpet area as per the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act (RERA), 2016: This move will bring uniformity and transparency in the realty sector and help the home buyers.
- Promoting ‘smart fintech centres’ by allowing higher FSI.
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“As per the DCPR 2034 slum regulations 33(10), the new apartment size for slum-dwellers has been changed from 269 to 300 sq ft, which makes it a bit more spacious and this is a positive take for slum-dwellers,” opines Parth Mehta, managing director of Paradigm Realty.
Experts believe that a good relaxation in open space norms, for redevelopment and Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) projects where the lands generally have a constraint on size and the number of tenements, is needed. Nevertheless, the relaxation in total FSI, for plots where the access road’s width is below nine meters, is a big boon as it will enable development in congested areas and accommodate a higher number of tenements in smaller plots. This, along with additional housing stock in the affordable housing category, may cause a correction in prices to some extent, facilitating buyers to realise their dream of owning a house in Mumbai.
Others maintain that for the policy to be effective, it should be framed considering the need of each stakeholder separately and addressing their problems.
According to Knight Frank’s report on the DCPR 2034 “With fragmentations within the slum cluster, it is difficult to expect a single policy to suit the requirements of people across these categories. The planners have failed to learn from the mistakes of the past development plan and the same set of policies/mistakes, with minor modifications, have been carried into the current DCPR 2034. With this same approach, it is very difficult to address the problem of slums in Mumbai.”
Overall, the DCPR 2034 is seen as a proactive move that would propel development in Mumbai, in the coming years. It is expected to address several significant issues and overcome long-standing bottlenecks, to unlock free space for development. However, it remains silent on certain issues pertaining to slum rehabilitation, which will, hopefully, be resolved in the future.