Pune based Urban Planners rubbish DMRC proposal for FSI along Pune Metro routes

PUNE: Veteran urban planning expert Shirish Patel on Saturday rubbished the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation’s (DMRC) proposal of four Floor Space Index (FSI) along Pune metro routes.

“This is not workable at all. They (planners) must have proposed the number (4 FSI) without looking at the consequences. I have never seen this anywhere in world. They have proposed a random number and not applied their mind to the real problem,” said Patel while speaking on the topic “Use and abuse of FSI”, at the College of Engineering, Pune, on Saturday. The lecture series was organized by the Institute of Town Planners, Pune chapter, to celebrate 100 years of formation of the state town planning department.

The DMRC has proposed four FSI on either side of metro corridors so that greater population densification through vertical development of residential and commercial properties could be achieved. Also, the mass transport project will be economically viable by generating the all-important funds, stated the DMRC report.

“I am sure that at some point they (planners) will realize that this is not going to work,” said Patel who asked the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) if it has any idea how many residential complexes will come up and if the city really needs them.

Patel, who is based in Mumbai, said population density should be taken into consideration first. “The FSI is a secondary issue because it basically depends on income levels of families that are going to utilize them. Four FSI is possible in Malabar Hill area but not in Dharavi. The FSI should be allowed according to the capacity of people to buy it.

Very rich people can afford high FSI,” said Patel who along with architect Charles Correa had conceptualized the idea of Navi Mumbai.

As of now, the PMC allows 1 FSI in old city areas, including Peth areas, which is stretched to 1.5 or even 2 by purchasing Transfer of Development Rights (TDR), which is a compensation granted to a property owner whose land is acquired by the PMC to develop a civic amenity.

Janwani, a social initiative of the Mahratta Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture (MCCIA), in its recent report on Pune metro had raised the same point. It suggested that the options other than a steep FSI hike should be explored. The MCCIA suggested that it can be done through auction and judicious deployment of FSI.

What is FSI?

The FSI is the ratio of total floor area of a building to the size of the plot which indicates the maximum construction allowed on a plot. If the FSI is one and the plot size is 1,000 sq ft, the maximum construction allowed on that plot will be 1,000 sq ft.

Why 4 FSI is not feasible

The draft Development Plan (DP) earmarks a metro influence zone with an area of 32.95 sq km having 500m on both sides of the metro corridors.

The proposed land use (PLU) for residential use is 30%. So, 30% of metro influence zone would mean 10 sq km. An FSI of 4 will result in built up area of 40 sq km, or 400 lakh sq m.

This would generate eight lakh houses accommodating a population of 40 lakh, considering each tenement measures 50 sq m.

Considering a population of 32.50 lakh, the housing requirement of Pune city is 6.5 lakh units.
Thus, the tenements generated from this sale of FSI would be much higher than required.