Seeking Higher FSI, How Railways Plans To Finance Redevelopment Projects Under The Mumbai Urban Transport Project


The requested floor space index (FSI) of five will allow for vertical development on railway land in Mumbai.

The unused FSI can then be allowed to be sold as transferable development rights for funding the railway’s share of the project cost.

The Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP) aims to significantly invest in railway projects, road networks and transport systems in the city.

This ambitious project also includes focus on expanding and enhancing the capacity of the city’s suburban train network.

The first phase of MUTP, which was initiated in 2002 and funded by the World Bank, worked on increasing the number of suburban trains and introducing more comfortable and ventilated railway coaches.

Currently, several projects under MUTP-3A are at various stages of implementation, with the Union cabinet approving this phase on 7 March, 2019.

The projects, with an estimated cost of Rs 33,690 crore shared equally by the Union and state governments, are expected to be completed within five years.

One of the significant works under MUTP-3A is the redevelopment and modernisation of 19 stations on the central railway (CR) and western railway (WR) lines, with an estimated cost of Rs 947 crore, as reported by the Hindustan Times.

With these projects, the railways has requested an increased floor space index (FSI) of five for its land.

Officials from the Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC) — a joint venture between the Indian Railways and the Maharashtra government — recently discussed this matter with Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

Increased FSI For Railway Land

The MRVC officials presented the proposal and requested the government to issue a government resolution (GR) to enable the increased FSI.

The requested FSI of five will allow for vertical development on railway land in Mumbai.

This FSI value is typically permitted for commercial buildings in Mumbai and will allow the built-up area to be five times the provided land area while adhering to the permissible heights and ground coverage.

According to a senior railway official, “the unused FSI can then be allowed to be sold as transferable development rights (TDR) for funding the railway’s share of the project cost.”

In addition, the government is expected to benefit from the project, as it will receive funding based on the sale of TDR.

Further, railway officials explained that the FSI of five could help them develop railway stations into a hybrid of commercial building, depending on permissions.

Following the HT report, additional chief secretary (urban development-1) Bhushan Gagrani stated that the government had received the MRVC request.

“We have conveyed to them that they cannot get a projectwise FSI,” he said.  “We will have to fit them into 33 (19) of DCPR to grant FSI.”

Regulation 33 (19) — which deals with FSI for commercial user development in Central Business Districts (CBD), permits a maximum FSI of five for plot areas exceeding 3,000 sq/m.

Mumbai Urban Transport Project

The MRVC aims to enhance 19 railway stations on the main and harbour lines by building new foot over bridges (FOBs) and skywalks, creating green spaces, and making other necessary improvements.

The railway stations in Mumbai are typically more than 50 years old and suffer from severe overcrowding.

The officials recognise the pressing need for additional space to accommodate the growing number of passengers and longer trains with 12-15 coaches.

Their plan includes constructing additional entry and exit points, relocating service buildings and stalls, and improving lighting for the convenience of all.

Earlier, the Free Press Journal reported that Chief Minister Shinde urged railway officials to accelerate ongoing projects under MUTP-3A and offered assistance in resolving related issues.

As per the report, there are currently more than 22,000 unauthorised structures spanning 57 hectares of railway land in Mumbai divisions of both zonal railways, including areas designated for safety and expansion projects.

The Chief Minister asked the railways to devise a rehabilitation scheme for encroachers modeled on the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) to speed up the capacity augmentation projects.

In addition to the station redevelopment, the MUTP-3A projects include — an extension of the Harbour line from Goregaon to Borivli, fifth and sixth lines between Borivli and Virar, fourth line between Kalyan and Asangaon, fourth line between Kalyan and Badlapur, and communication-based train control system on CR and WR.