The state government has unveiled Mumbai’s new Development Plan (DP) 2034 with much fanfare. Many upgrades have been made to the previous development plan of 1991. The aim is to satisfy a wide percentage of the population through its scale and scope. In a paper, the Mumbai DP 2034 is truly excellent and if implemented rightly, it has the potential to change Mumbai’s landscape. India’s financial capital might even rival London or New York with the right implementation. It remains to be seen what will be done and how the future prospects benefit the Mumbai residents.
Let us look at some of the features of DP 2034:
- Unlocking Land Parcels: The Mumbai DP 2034 has proposed to unlock nearly 3700 hectares of land that were previously unavailable. They had originally been classified as No Development Zones (NDZs) or were salt pans. Now, 2100 hectares of NDZs and 330 hectares of salt pans have been allocated for building affordable housing complexes.
- Emphasis on Affordable Housing: The prime minister’s top project is ‘Housing for All’ and it is all set to receive massive encouragement in Mumbai. Previously unused land has been made available for fresh development. The government has proposed the construction of 1 million affordable homes. This is great news for real estate developers as wee because it provides them opportunities for entering into the affordable housing segment.
- Higher FSI: One of the most attractive features of Mumbai DP 2034 is the increased FSI. FSI stands for Floor Service Index, a value that is calculated while constructing residences. It refers to the total area that can be constructed in a piece of land. The higher the FSI, the more, the number of houses that can be built on a piece of land. It is a major advantage for the buyers too. The developer will be able to offer houses at a lesser price to buyers if the FSI is higher. A rise in FSI has been released under two categories: island city and suburbs. In island city, FSI has been raised from 1.33 to 3 for residential projects. In the suburbs, it has been increased from 2 to 2.5. Commercial properties in the island city, as well as suburbs, see a rise in FSI from 2.5 to 5.
- Redevelopment Opportunity: The rise in FSI also has a significant impact on revamping old and dilapidated housing societies. It offers opportunities for monetizing redevelopment of old buildings and townships in a bad state of repair. This will be a major boost for Mumbai which houses more than 16,000 buildings in an old and dilapidated condition. The increase in FSI also means that each flat owner can get one room extra after the redevelopment of old housing societies.
- An Improved Job Market: The new development plan has the potential to create up to 8 million new job opportunities in Mumbai directly and indirectly. Most of the jobs will be in the construction and real estate businesses. An improve FSI for commercial properties results in more office space. As a result, it attracts more businesses and jobs to the city. Data centers are also allotted an additional height of 6 meters, thus allowing more space for more employees.
- Walk-to-Work Culture: Commercial buildings are getting a boost due to the increase in FSI. This, in turn, encourages more central business districts (CBDs) to develop across the city. This not only decongests existing CBDs but also introduces a walk-to-work culture in different locations within Mumbai. This will enable the Mumbai residents to enjoy a better and more relaxed lifestyle.
- Mumbai Waterfront Development: The Mumbai DP 2034 has mentioned the development of 120 hectares of Eastern Waterfront through a public-private partnership. This will increase per capita open space ration and boost development of beautiful waterfronts in Mumbai. This has in fact been a long-time aspiration of the city. Mumbai has the potential to attain development in retail, commercial, entertainment and hospitality projects similar to London’s redeveloped business district, Canary Wharf.
- Greener City: Mumbai, like other major cities in the country, is reeling under pollution and poor air quality. There is also this ever-present problem of congestion and overcrowded spaces. The development plan has chalked out an idea of creating more parks, playgrounds and themed gardens in different parts of the city.
About 12,859 hectares have been allotted for natural spaces and no new construction is allowed here. The residents can now find solace in parks and green spaces spread across the city.
- More Public Amenities: The current development plan lists out the creation of shelters for homeless people, old age homes, museums, and theatres. Two major parking spaces of 300 acres each will be built in Cuffe Parade and Bombay Port Trust. Mumbai has long needed such parking areas and the residents are looking forward to it to become operational.
DP 2034: The Issues
With its many positive aspects, the development plan has received a positive response from different people. However, there are also a few important aspects that seem to have been missed out.
No plans have been listed for addressing increasing traffic, rising pollution levels and a shortage of public transport.
The previous development plan of 1991 was also promising, but the government managed to achieve only 20% of the proposed activities. It remains to be seen if Mumbai DP 2034 will suffer a similar fate.
Despite all its advantages, an increased FSI could also lead to overcrowding and further congestion in the city. This, in turn, could cancel out any positive effect arising out of the parks and green spaces in the city.
Mumbai DP 2034-People tend to believe that an increase in FSI and availability of more land could directly translate into lower prices of property. However, this will largely depend on whether or not the government wishes to levy a premium cost for the FSI on developers. This, in turn, will pass on to the buyers.
There are 60 days left for the general public, civic bodies and activists to make suggestions for improvement. It is not unusual for amendments to be made based on user inputs. One can hope for a better quality of life for all residents in Mumbai if the development plan is executed well.