Mumbai: With CRZ washed away, steep curve ahead for Pali Hill skyline
Publish on : 2021-11-24 11:37:17
A massive construction boom is on the anvil at prime seafront locations in the city, especially between Bandra and Versova, after Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms were diluted by the Centre recently.
MUMBAI: A massive construction boom is on the anvil at prime seafront locations in the city, especially between Bandra and Versova, after Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms were diluted by the Centre recently.
Across the western suburbs, but more particularly in the upscale localities of Bandra (west), housing societies are reaching out to builders to redevelop their properties.
For three decades now, stringent CRZ norms had restricted construction activity 500 metres from the high tide line. Floor space index (FSI) – a ratio which defines how much can be built on a plot – was limited to 1. It means on a 1,000 sq m plot, not more than 1,000 sq m of built-up area was permitted.
Now with CRZ gone, as veteran architect Manoj Daisaria explains, more than three times the construction will be allowed on such plots. “The FSI will be between 2.7 to 3.37 depending on the width of the road,’’ he said.
Among the biggest beneficiaries will be developer Rustomjee Group, which bought the Bandra Parsi Convalescent Home Trust’s one-acre, sea-facing plot for Rs 350 crore a few weeks ago. Though negotiations had concluded some months ago, the transaction was registered recently after the CRZ rules were diluted.
In Bandra’s Pali Hill, the most expensive residential address in the suburbs, Mirror has learnt that close to a dozen housing societies are in talks with developers, or have floated tenders, or already signed redevelopment agreements. Certain portions of Pali Hill earlier fell under CRZ. Many of these societies will gain from the additional construction rights available now, though property experts say aviation height restrictions on Pali Hill will not allow full utilisation of FSI.
The Pali Hill Daffodils Society will soon be redeveloped by developer Prestige Estates, who bought over 12 flats in the building for Rs 98 crore. Parishram on Pali Hill has signed a redevelopment agreement with developer Rustomjee. Work on Dilip Kumar’s erstwhile bungalow plot commenced recently. The developer, Ashar Group, is building a 11-storey luxury tower. Members of Cosy Home society, which has probably the largest area in Pali Hill (2.75 acres), have also started discussing redevelopment. The complex with 152 flats, was under CRZ restrictions.
In the same neighbourhood are Summer Palace, Sea View Palace and Grand Canyon societies. Hill N Sea Society on Nargis Dutt Road has appointed a project management consultant to advise on redevelopment. Nearby, members of Queens Apartments and Maria Apartments are also in talks with developers.Old-timers now fear that the sylvan two-km stretch will sprout more skyscrapers, dwarfing the modest multi-storeyed apartment blocks built over the last five decades. “Pali Hill and parts of Bandra will soon turn into a big construction site,’’ said Madhu Poplai, secretary of Pali Hill Residents’ Association.
Several pockets of Bandra like Shirley, Perry Road, Carter Road Bandstand and parts of Hill Road, which fell under CRZ, will also open for redevelopment. “It will put unbearable pressure on the civic infrastructure,’’ said housing experts.
The coastline along Bandra to Versova is already congested and over-developed. Diluting the CRZ regulation will be chaotic. It will be the death knell for the city, specially when authorities know the repercussions of climate change. Mumbai has an about 50-km-long coastline on its western and eastern edges and that would be completely submerged in a couple of decades.Architect and activist Nitin Killawala
Regarding the growing pressure on civic facilities, developer Ashok Mohanani, who has projects in Bandra, said builders are mandated to strengthen the internal infrastructure like providing adequate parking.
“Once that is done, it should not be a problem. People who will buy these luxury flats are now generally nuclear families. The additional burden on these areas will be not more than 20%,” said Mohanani.
He added that new construction will also stabilise prices.
‘Diluting CRZ regulations will be the death knell for the city’
Architect and activist Nitin Killawala said, “The coastline along Bandra to Versova is already congested and over-developed. Diluting the CRZ regulation will be chaotic. It will be the death knell for the city, specially when authorities know the repercussions of climate change.’’
Killawala warned, “Mumbai has an about 50-km-long coastline on its western and eastern edges and that would be completely submerged in a couple of decades.’’
Urban designer and architect Harshad Bhatia said “any additional development could mean imminent breakdown.” “The latest CRZ norms water down the restrictions and open more land for development. As a settlement, this is disconcerting for a city that is stated to be adversely affected by sea level rise in a few decades from now,’’ he added.