The Maharashtra government has scrapped its policy to grant additional floor space index (FSI) for public parking in Mumbai city under its Development Control Regulations 33 (24).
The government had notified the extra FSI for parking one-and-a-half years earlier following a rise in vehicle population and the need for parking in the city.
But, recent reports said a few builders and developers are allegedly misusing the provision to make a fortune.
Instead of providing relief, the government realised that the extra parking may put additional burden on the limited road space.
The government had amended the development control regulations to permit private participation in public parking.
A private party can avail up to 50 per cent of the built-up area of the public parking space constructed on the plot. The parking facility, once created, had to be handed over free-of-cost to the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
A senior state government official said, "The government offered builders up to four FSI in the island city and three FSI in suburbs if they constructed a parking lot on a portion of their land and handed it over to the civic administration free of cost."
FSI is generally restricted to 1.33 in the island city and two in the suburbs. For example, if a plot area is 10,000 sq m, the permissible FSI is 13,300 sq m.
However, in view of public parking there was scope of availing 26,700 sq m FSI by giving 55,400 sq m for parking, thereby making the total built-up area on the same plot to more than 90,000 sq m.
The earlier built-up area would have been 13,300 sq m. Though the FSI increase was three times, the proportionate construction in built up areas was eight times.
More than 20,000 parking lots alone were sanctioned in the mill land area of Lower Parel-Worli belt.
The official said: "Nearly 60 parking proposals were received by BMC of which some proposals were cleared by the urban development department.
However, in some cases it was found that builders constructed 15 level parking and seven-level parking for buses. How can buses go up seven levels? There was exploitation by some builders and developers. The motive was to make fortunes."
The official said the decision was taken to cancel the parking policy by providing extra FSI as each builder wanted to maximise its FSI to three or four rather than providing parking space to decongest the space.
Yomesh Rao, director of YMS Consultants Ltd said: "The policy was right in spirit - to provide parking spaces. However, it should have been used with discretion as per requirement and practicalilty of use.
Every 10th building having a 50-car parking space is a good idea. But one tower having 3,000-car park facility is not a good idea. Had the policy been implemented in true spirit, it would have made wonders."