Two new cluster redevelopment projects, both in Parel, have taken off in the city. One will come up on B A Ambedkar road, right across from where the Lalbaugcha Raja pandal comes up every year, and the other is behind KEM hospital.
So far, only two other cluster redevelopment projects have been taken up. The first was the seven-acre Haji Qasim Chawl at Curry Road, in which the tenants have been rehabilitated, and the second is the ongoing 16.5-acre Bhendi Bazaar Redevelopment.
The two Parel projects (see box) started out as redevelopment of old and dilapidated buildings and are now being converted into cluster redevelopment. To save time, developers seem to be gaming the permission system.
“Both projects were always planned for cluster redevelopment. It is just that approvals for cluster redevelopment take far more time than those for redevelopment of old and dilapidated buildings,” said sources.
While permissions for redevelopment of old buildings are granted at BMC, clearance for cluster redevelopment comes from a high power committee, followed by the state urban development department, and finally the chief minister. “Under redevelopment of old and dilapidated buildings, the permissions came within three months,” said the source.
The incentive floor space index for cluster redevelopment is as high as 80-90% as against the 50% for redevelopment of old and dilapidated building scheme, said industry sources.
In case of the project behind KEM Hospital, the commercial rehabilitation component is ready and tenants are being shifted back. “We start shifting the residential tenants in another two months. The foundation for the sale component has been laid,” said a source.
Industry insiders said the government must cut the time needed to approve cluster projects. “It does not need to go to the state urban development department and the chief minister. It will help save time and money and many more projects will take off,” said the source.