BMC to charge more from builders scrimping 'open space' norms

To discourage developers from minimising open spaces around new buildings, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has steeply hiked the premium it will charge builders who seek concessions in rules governing how much open space must be maintained.

The rates have been increased from 10 per cent to 50 per cent of the premium that the BMC currently charges.

''This decision has been taken keeping in view the increasing number of proposals asking us to permit less open space in buildings,'' said Rajeev Kuknur, chief engineer of the development plan department, said after the BMC standing committee meeting on Wednesday.

Admitting that the proposal will also add to the revenue of the civic body, officials explained that the premium is charged as a percentage of the value of the originally mandated open space for every building, calculated according to the ready reckoner rates.

Meanwhile, the BMC boosted its credentials in saving the city's beleaguered open spaces when a civic bulldozer on Tuesday razed several illegal structures on a plot reserved for the use of a local municipal school in Dharavi.

The 3,000-sq ft plot will now be developed into a full-time playing facility at a cost of Rs50 lakh for the children of the adjacent Rajshree Shahunagar Municipal School located on the Jasmine Mill Road, said officials.

"This one-of-its-kind initiative or action from the BMC will benefit as many as 3,000 schoolchildren who in the absence of any playing facilities in the vicinity were forced to visit the adjacent ward," said ex-administrative officer (schools, G/n ward), Nalla Mallikarjunarao.