New Norms for High-rise Buildings
Learning lessons from the Adarsh housing scam, the Mumbai state high rise committee has framed new guidelines that make it mandatory for builders to submit a final plan before seeking approval. In its guidelines formalised a few weeks ago, the committee has specified that builders will have to submit their applications based on the available FSI.
In the case of Adarsh, former civic chief Jairaj Phatak approved additional FSI but he did not send back the revised plan to the high rise committee. City builders have always exploited loopholes in the rules by submitting plans for a certain number of floors and seeking permission to add more floors by way of additional FSI or TDR (transfer of development rights) once they get approval.
The new rules will stop developers from changing their plans once the committee clears a proposal. The committee has recommended that the developer must submit a detailed layout plan, including details of buildings around a 1.3 km radius of the proposed project. Details would include mentioning the main access road, its width, the number of proposed high rises in the vicinity, buildings of archaeological importance, heritage sites, schools, places of worship, forests and national parks and the distance between each structure. Developers will have to keep an appropriate space for pedestrians, fire brigade, ambulance, and riot vehicles.
Developers might also have to abandon glass facades, a committee member said. Builders go for glass without understanding the city’s climate, he said. “If a glass facade breaks, it can cause damage on the streets because the city’s population density is very high,” the committee said in its report.
According to the new guidelines, the developer will also have to submit details of water supply and distribution and how it will be used in flats, garden, and sewers. The committee wants to maintain the city’s aesthetic view. New high rises should not come in the way of landmarks and historic buildings, the member said.
Also, the facade cannot be featureless and bland; the structure has to match those in surrounding areas. The minimum distance between two high rises will have to be 20 metres.
Developers will have to carry out several surveys, including environmental impact, traffic, open space, soil profile study, availability of amenities, energy, water use, and wind analysis.
“The new high rise guidelines will help improve the quality of life and rejuvenate the environment condition,” the committee said in its report. Retired high court judge and high rise committee chairman SS Parkar said that the final guidelines would be applicable to all proposed high rise buildings (above 70 metres).
“We will use the new guidelines as parameters while scrutinizing high rise building proposals,” Parkar said.
Source: DNA India
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