Churchgate-Virar Elevated Rail Corridor stuck in State-Railways FSI tussle

Mumbai:  Construction of the Churchgate to Virar elevated rail corridor (ERC) is stuck in a disagreement over Floor Space Index (FSI) between the Railways and the state government, resulting in a hurdle in signing the State Support Agreement (SSA).

The SSA for the Rs.21,000 crore project was supposed to be signed in January, but the state government has shown reservations in granting an FSI up to four. Since Railways has been eying optimum commercial development of its existing plots as major source of funds for this project, it has demanded an FSI of five for 13 land parcels across the city.

Currently only an FSI of two is permitted which can go up to four in exceptional cases.  “We have asked for FSI upto five for our different land parcels to get optimum utilisation of railways’ land, but the state government is not agreeing and has said that it would permit need-based FSI only. We have again insisted for a flat FSI of five for all the locations,” Subodh Jain, member, engineering, railway board said in his recent visit to the city on Wednesday.

He added, “we have requested the state to process the SSA at the earliest, but the delay in deciding FSI could lead to further delay in signing the crucial document.” The SSA will be the state’s commitment to help Railways in land acquisition, shifting utility services on time and attaining more FSI to help developers generate funds.