Western Railway seeks higher FSI – up to 10 – for Railway Stations, Areas in the vicinity

Mumbai: The Western Railway has written to the civic body seeking higher floor space index (FSI) – up to 10 – for railway stations and areas in the vicinity along the lines of provisions prevalent in other countries. The WR says it has plans for commercial exploitation of railway land and upgradation of facilities at important stations in the city.

The request for additional FSI comes a month after a meeting between officials from BMC and the railways on the issue.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation in its new Development Control Regulations has decided to focus on granting more FSI near railway stations and other transport nodes so that these areas can become growth centres and generate employment.

The BMC has decided to dole out FSI between 6.5 and 8 in the immediate vicinity of major railway stations, existing and upcoming Metro stations, commercial business districts and other employment-oriented areas. The idea is to allow construction of more high-rises near railway stations. Areas like Ghatkopar, Kurla, Parel and DN Nagar will be eligible for an FSI of 6.5, while localities near Dadar and Andheri stations will be eligible for an FSI of 8.

The letter addressed to the municipal commissioner reads, “The railways is making an attempt to upgrade facilities at important railway stations by involving private parties and commercially exploiting the land/air space near railway station. For Mumbai suburban area railway is providing cheapest mode of transport facility and to make it viable, commercial exploitation of land/air space is essentially required.”

Railway authorities have further pointed out that their earlier efforts to exploit the railway land were unsuccessful on the account of inadequate FSI. Development Control Regulations 1991 for the Greater Mumbai under Maharashtra Regional & Town Planning Act 1966 states that area of land shown in the development plan for railway track, yard and kept open for operational purpose should not be taken into consideration for FSI calculations.

However, now the railways wants to make another attempt at development of railway stations. The letter seeks extra FSI on the basis of the information gathered during a presentation given by the World Bank on commercial exploitation of railway stations in different countries. “It is learnt that very high FSI has been allotted to the railway station area for facilitating it’s commercial exploitation in these countries. In some countries even unlimited FSI is permitted,” reads the letter.

What Railways want

Higher FSI (as against present maximum ceiling of 4 FSI) should be permitted for development of station area and it should be up to 10 along the lines of provisions prevalent in other countries.

If higher FSI is not possible, the area covered by railway track & yard along with area kept open for operational purpose should be permitted to be taken into consideration for calculation of FSI.