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Supreme Court Order on Open Space

The real estate industry in Mumbai, following a recent Supreme Court order has virtually come to a standstill which was already reeling under recession due to poor demand. The Court order rules that a six-meter-wide open space skirting all buildings is compulsory and around 10-25% of the plot area has to kept to open sky.

Affected by the SC order the worried builders claim that this order will seriously impact their projects. Already, the industry is crippled on account of other issues, like heritage, Doppler, Prisons, naval restriction and coastal regulation zones.

As a result of this in the last three weeks not a single new proposal for construction of buildings has been received by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). In fact the BMC commissioner Sitaram Kunte has returned all plans submitted by builders since they would have to comply with the new rule now. The Commissioner has asked the fire brigade, the buildings proposals and development plan departments to strictly follow the apex court guidelines to avoid contempt of court.

Mr. Anand Gupta, Secretary of the Builders Association of India, has said the actual size of plots available for development has shrunk by the order of the SC, in turn their calculations in the plans are upset and architectural plans have to be changed. He has further said that the height of the buildings have to be increased to accommodate tenants in the redevelopment projects. According to him if the height is increased more than 70 meters high rise committee rules will be applicable like having two staircases with a width of two meters and providing refuge floors after each set of nine floors. He rues that on the one hand there was no significant rise in property prices but they are being forced to pay more by way of premia and other escalated input costs.

Another Developer Shailesh Puranik, MD of Puranik Developers says – their projects have become non-viable due to the new set of rules and they have to think twice before investing in any projects as the chances of making profit is very much impacted due to this order of SC.

Senior Architect, Milind Samel says all their earlier efforts have gone waste and people like him are now forced to go back to the drawing boards to prepare fresh plans because of the Supreme Court judgment.