Mumbai, Nov 2, 2009

73-metre highrises allowed at BKC

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A mini Manhattan at the Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) has been the dream of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA). Now, almost two years after it doubled the developable floor space index (FSI) from 2 to 4 at the BKC, the MMRDA can hope to live that dream.

The Union ministry of civil aviation has started easing height restrictions on buildings at the BKC, one of the costliest business districts in the city. The first to get its nod was the seven-star Hotel Accor. Recently, the ministry also granted permission to Wadhwa Developers and Parini Developers to construct 73-metre tall(or up to 16-storey) buildings. Currently, the tallest buildings at the BKC — Platina, Naman Centre and two commercial buildings by Tata and Raheja developers — stand at 52 metres (or up to 12 storeys) each.

The ministry was opposed to the idea of highrises at the BKC as a major portion of it comes within the flight path of aeroplanes taking off from the Santa Cruz (domestic) and Sahar (international) airports. It has not eased the height restriction on all buildings; it has started considering cases individually.

The MMRDA, however, is not happy. It wants every building at the BKC to be allowed to rise "not just 73 metres, but 90 metres".

MMRDA commissioner Ratnakar Gaikwad said, "We are hoping that the aviation ministry will allow the building height to be raised to 90 metres. It will give a big boost to the property market."

Top corporate houses, such as Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries, ING Vysya Bank, Raghuleela Leasing and Real Estate Pvt Ltd, Starlite Systems Pvt Ltd, Satnam Realtors, Parini Developers Pvt Ltd, Shri Naman Developers Pvt Ltd, Oriental Bank of Commerce and State Bank of India, have purchased additional FSIs.