Govt hikes low-cost housing component in spl townships


Shot in arm: Total FSI for saleable residential projects increased up to 1.7

Over six years after it introduced the Special Township Project (STP) scheme to promote self-sustainable micro-economic hubs in and around urban centres in Maharashtra, the state government on Sunday finalised several modifications to the existing policy. While the total FSI for saleable residential projects has been increased from 1 to a maximum of 1.7, the government has also increased the component of low-cost housing and the area that has to be reserved for economic activities within the township.

While earlier, the builder was to hand over 10 per cent of the total built-up area to the government for low-cost housing, the modified policy increases this component to 20 per cent. Moreover, the area to be compulsorily brought under economic/commercial activity has been increased from 15 per cent to up to 25 per cent. FSI for housing projects in STPs consisting of agricultural/green zone/no development zone has also been increased from 0.2 to between 0.8 and 1 depending on the size of land.

An official from the state urban development department said a need was felt to both increase incentives for the builder and generate more housing for the lower-income groups. Accordingly, during the Assembly session in April last year, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan started toying with the idea of bringing out these modifications, which will now be open for public suggestions and objections for 30 days.

"The FSI of 1 for saleable housing was not encouraging builders and only two projects both in Thane have been sanctioned and completed so far. At the same time, in these two projects, the government felt that the benefits were skewed in favour of the builder," said the official.

As per the modifications, townships spread across 40-100 hectares will have to set aside 15 per cent area for economic activity and will get FSI of 1.5, those over 100-200 hectares will have to reserve 20 per cent for economic activity and will get 1.6 FSI and those above 200 hectares will need to reserve 25 per cent for economic activity for an FSI of 1.7. The government will charge premium for the additional FSI but will exclude low-cost housing from this premium payment.

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