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   Home >> Library index >> Mumbai Makeover (Real Estate) >> WB team suggests real estate overhaul for city makeover 
WB team suggests real estate overhaul for city makeover 


New Delhi: Uniformity in urban administrative systems, rationalisation of property taxes, phasing out octroi and scrapping laws that prohibit construction in coastal areas as well as No-Development Zone have been identified as prerequisites by the World Bank (WB) for Mumbaiís makeover into a world class city. 
The WB team returned to New Delhi on Tuesday after a week-long stay in Mumbai and have submitted a detailed list of dos and more dos to the Centre if 
Mumbai has to achieve the status of a global megapolis. The seven-member team, led by Korean urban development specialist Songsu Choi, was invited by the Union government to chalk out a business plan for Mumbaiís revival. 
The WB mission has recommended policy initiatives by the Maharashtra government to effectively reorganise urban services like BEST, water supply and sanitation into autonomous entities. ďDecision-making by government agencies is extremely fragmented. Procedural and organisational changes need to be carried out while also exploring options to strengthen the authority and accountability of local-self-government bodies especially the BMC, the WB said in its report. 
More significantly, the mission has suggested that Mumbaiís railway network be separated from the Indian Railways as a standalone entity. The suburban rail network which ferries over 50 lakh commuters daily criss-crossing from Panvel, Vasai and Kasara is the lifeline of the public transport system and needs to be strengthened by an additional metro rail system, the WB team said in its report submitted to the Union government on Tuesday. 
Additionally, the bank has argued for allowing private bus operators not only in Mumbai but also neighbouring Thane and Navi Mumbai districts. On the impact that it would have on the BEST services, which is the monopoly public bus service provider, the team believes that only 25% of its revenue would be drawn away by the private operators. 
Emphasising on the urgency to release the large tracts of land held by private mill owners, agencies such as Mumbai Port Trust, salt pan lands along with the abolition of the Urban Land Ceiling Act Regulation (ULCRA), the WB has said all these will go a long way in providing affordable rental as well as housing stock. This, the bank experts feel, will be crucial as Mumbai will witness an addition of 38 lakh migrants between 2001 and 2021. 
Considering the rapid population increase in Mumbai and limited housing potential under the existing regulations, the WB has sought to lift the cap on the Floor Space Index (FSI). It has strongly recommended a distinct FSI regime for commercial reality as against residential constructions. The bank has sought an FSI of 2 for residential buildings, currently 1.33, especially those within a radius of 1 km from railway stations.