Proximity to Metro line linked to vertical expansion of realty

Real estate projects coming up within a kilometre of any Metro corridor are eligible to create up to 20 per cent more floor area than previously permissible after an amendment to the Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC)'s building rules took effect a month ago.

By Subhajoy Roy and Sambit Saha in Calcutta
  • Published 17.07.18
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Calcutta: Real estate projects coming up within a kilometre of any Metro corridor are eligible to create up to 20 per cent more floor area than previously permissible after an amendment to the Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC)'s building rules took effect a month ago.

An apartment building facing a road whose width ranges between 15 and 24 metres can have an additional floor area ratio (FAR) of 15 per cent. Where the road width is more than 24 metres, the increase is 20 per cent.

FAR denotes the ratio of a building's gross floor area to the size of the plot on which it stands.

The amendment will benefit large real estate developments on either side of the Dum Dum-New Garia Metro route as well as the new corridors that are being built such as the East-West Metro and the New Garia-Airport and Joka-BBD Bag lines.

For the CMC, construction of additional floor space spells more revenue because developers have to pay additional charges to take advantage of the change in rules. Until the amendment arrived, only projects within 500 metres of a Metro corridor could build additional floor space.

"In a densely populated city such as Calcutta, additional floor area is always welcome. However, only projects on large plots will be able to reap the benefits of this change given the additional requirements of open space and parking slots," said Nandu Belani of CREDAI, the apex body of real estate developers' associations.

An engineer in the CMC said the rule had been modified in anticipation of a spike in demand for housing along the Metro corridors. "Once the Metro lines under construction are ready, we expect that more people would prefer to move closer to those. It makes sense to allow additional floor area before demand increases."

Parts of Kasba, Kalikapur, Madurdaha and Patuli along the EM Bypass have vacant land that might find more takers now because of the opportunity to create large real estate projects there. The closed factory sheds along BT Road and Diamond Harbour Road are also seen as potential realty gold.

"The size of a plot needs to be 20 cottahs or more for the higher FAR to kick in. Smaller plots might not be able to increase floor area because the new building rules require them to keep a sizeable amount of space open to sky," an architect said.

"Only large plots can practically go for vertical expansion after complying with the stipulation of open space. People building standalone houses or small apartment blocks won't benefit from the amendment, unlike large housing complexes," he said.

The building rules stipulate three parking spaces per 1,000sq ft of commercial development and one for a residential unit of the same size.

Jitendra Khaitan, whose Pioneer Properties is one of the city's top realty management firms, said ongoing projects were unlikely to risk modifications with the Real Estate Regulatory Authority on its way. "The amendment will primarily benefit projects that have yet to be launched."