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Excise minister seeks more FSI for redevelopment of traditional villages
October, 20th 2011

State excise minister Ganesh Naik, who is also the guardian minister for Thane and Navi Mumbai, on Wednesday sought extra FSI to push for the redevelopment of not just the gaothans (traditional villages) in Thane and Navi Mumbai, but also the slums surrounding these gaothans.

Addressing the media, Naik said that for redevelopment to be meaningful, the FSI (the number of floors allowed for a certain amount of space) must be increased to four, the way it has been done for the states Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) project in Dharavi. He said there are about 15,000 to 16,000 houses in the various gaothans and about 40,000 slums in the two cities.

Most of the land surrounding the gaothans was developed by Cidco (City and Industrial Development Corporation), a state government run body. Critics claim Cidco, under political pressure, turned a blind eye as slums began sprouting up on its land. Now by seeking to include slums in the redevelopment, the area for redevelopment goes up exponentially.

Naik also claimed that the gaothans remained neglected even as Navi Mumbai and Thane developed, becoming a part of the Mumbai metro area, with modern amenities and facilities. The gaothans are in Navi Mumbai, but there is no Navi Mumbai in the gaothans, he exclaimed.

Builders have been eyeing the slum redevelopment plan with its additional FSI as a potential bonanza (the plan is to house every slum resident and sell off the extra houses). Now with Naik demanding the inclusion of gaothans and their slums in Navi Mumbai and Thane, the pie just got bigger.

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