Union Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri on Saturday asked the officials to review the Floor Space Index (FSI) and Floor Area Ratio (FAR) norms in mega cities to ensure better utilisation of urban space in the face of rapid urbanisation in the country.
A NITI Ayog report had recently advocated relaxation of FSI and FAR norms in urban areas to give a push to urban development and asked the Urban Affairs Ministry to take up a time bound review of these norms in the 53 cities with a population of one million and above.
The review to be taken up in consultation with states and cities is to cover an assessment of the existing norms and to what extent it could be enhanced, according to an official release.
The NITI Ayog in its Three Year Action Agenda released last month observed: "In 1984, Shanghai had only 3.65 square metre of space per person. Through liberal use of FSI, despite increase in population since 1984, the city had increased the available space to 34 square metre per person. In contrast, in 2009, Mumbai on average had just 4.50 square metre of space per person".
Puri said increasing the availability of land in urban areas is critical to meet the demand for affordable housing under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban).
Puri noted that compact, dense and vertical urban densification is beneficial to both the citizens given the rising demand for urban spaces and urban mass transit systems being developed and proposed to be developed.
FSI is the ratio of a building's total floor area to the size of the piece of the land on which it is built. In Indian cities, it is generally about 1.50.
The Minister also asked the officials to identify short and long term interventions to be taken up in respect of improving infrastructure pertaining to ensuring water supply and sewerage systems, road spaces etc.
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