SCB looks to FSI relaxation for cellars, stilt parking

It is not the norm in either the National Building Code or part of the model building bylaws

Published - June 20, 2021 11:24 pm IST - HYDERABAD

With a new Director General of Defence Estates, Prachur Goel taking charge in Delhi, there is renewed hope among denizens of Secunderabad Cantonment Board (SCB) to get the long pending building bylaws modified to make constructions a wee bit easier. The issue is about including cellars, stilt parking/basements and stairs when calculating the Floor Space Index (FSI).

Secunderabad Cantonment Board, spread out in 41 sq.kms with above 300 housing colonies had an FSI of 0.5 for outside civilian areas and ‘1’ for within civilian area. With the private and State government lands within Cantonment being to an extent of about 3,000 acres out of the total 10,000-odd acres and since, it is surrounded by fast growing areas of Malkajgiri, Marredpally, Alwal, Kukatpally, Kapra and others. FSI for areas outside notified civilian areas was raised from 0.5 to 1.5 in 2003, exclusively for SCB , senior officials informed.

It was made applicable for private housing colonies and the official directive was those already built within the FSI 1.5 can be regularised by paying a composite fee and those violating, should be demolished. Initially, stilt parking and basement was excluded in FSI and later, the permissions were not given to build them! Following representations from elected representatives and others, the defence estate authorities issued orders directing these be calculated within FSI.

“This led to several deviations from the sanctioned building plans as the built-up space became less. It put citizens at the mercy of members and engineers concerned. Ever since, we have been lobbying to leave out cellars, stilt parking and stairs outside FSI as it is not the norm in either the National Building Code or part of the model building bylaws. Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) had done away with FSI with height of the building calculated on plot size and abutting road width,” explained former SCB vice-president J. Pratap

Mr. Pratap, now lobbying for the single civilian member post in the proposed three-member ‘Varied Board’ after the elected body tenure ended earlier this year, had met the DG and presented a memorandum few days ago on the issue. “The DG had worked here before and is familiar with the “unique” situation in Secunderabad Cantonment, so we are confident of the relaxation orders,” he added.

Bolstering his plea is an official resolution passed in SCB in 2013 urging the defence estate authorities to exclude stilt floors, cellar/basement, staircases from FSI. Plus, the Delhi Cantonment had also given exemption of common areas like cellar, basement, staircase, lift room, AC unit, pump house and so on from FSI calculation.

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