My photo




Thursday, December 19, 2013

Restricting to four floors the height of Wing ‘C’ (providing for public parking lot- ‘PPL’ for short) of the buildings being constructed on Plot No.46 of Town Planning Scheme-III, - Apex court - gave directions - Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai and Ors. … Appellants Versus Kohinoor CTNL Infrastructure Company Private Limited and another … Respondents = Published in

Restricting to four floors the height of Wing ‘C’ (providing  for  public  parking  lot-
‘PPL’ for short) of the buildings being constructed on Plot  No.46  of  Town
Planning Scheme-III, - Apex court - gave directions - 
 Division  Bench  of  the  Bombay  High  Court  whereby  Writ  Petition
No.143/2012 filed by the respondents was  allowed,  and  which  quashed  the
stop work notice dated 22.12.2011 issued  by  Executive  Engineer  (Building
Proposal) City-III, Municipal  Corporation  of  Greater  Mumbai,  and  order
dated 27.4.2012 passed by the Additional Municipal Commissioner  restricting
to four floors the height of Wing ‘C’ (providing  for  public  parking  lot-
‘PPL’ for short) of the buildings being constructed on Plot  No.46  of  Town
Planning Scheme-III, N.C.Kelkar Road, Shivaji Park, Dadar, Mumbai. =
   In the circumstances we pass the following order:-
(1) The memorandum  of  settlement  dated  18.4.2013,  concerning  the
Public  Parking  Lot  (PPL)  arrived  at  between  the   appellant-Municipal
Corporation of Greater Mumbai and the respondents was taken  on  record,  as
noted in Part-I order dated 25.7.2013, in the  facts  and  circumstances  of
the present case. Both the parties shall act  strictly  in  accordance  with
the same.  It is clarified that as held in the  said  order,  the  Municipal
circular dated 22.6.2011 is not in any way held to be bad in law.
(2)   The four additional issues framed in Part-II of the  above  order  are
decided as follows:-
Issue No. (i) –  The minimum recreational space  as  laid  down  under
Development Control Regulation (DCR) 23, cannot be reduced on the  basis  of
DCR 38(34).  The recreational space, if any, provided on the podium  as  per
DCR 38(34)(iv), shall be in addition to that provided as per DCR 23.
Issue Nos. (ii) & (iii) – The Government  of  Maharashtra,  the  Development
Plan Drafting  Committee,  and  the  appellant-Municipal  Corporation  shall
consider the suggestions as contained in  paragraph  Nos.53  and  54  above,
while framing the Development Plan for Greater Mumbai.
Issue No. (iv) – The second  proviso  to  DCR  43(1)  (A),  concerning  fire
protection requirements, is held to be bad in law.  We hold  that  even  for
the reconstruction proposals of plots upto the size of 600  sq.  mts.  under
DCR 33(7), open space of the width of 6 meters  at  least  on  one  side  at
ground level within the plot, accessible from the road side will have to  be
maintained for the maneuverability of a fire  engine,  unless  the  building
abuts two roads of 6 meters or more on two sides, or  another  access  of  6
meters to the building is  available,  apart  from  the  road  abutting  the
(3)   The decision as contained in Clauses 2(i) and 2(iv) above, will  apply
to those constructions where plans are still  not  approved,  or  where  the
Commencement Certificate (CC) has not  yet  been  issued.   All  authorities
concerned are directed to ensure strict compliance accordingly.
(4)   The Government of Maharashtra shall issue the  necessary  notification
within four weeks of this order, re-constituting  the  ‘Technical  Committee
for the High-Rise Buildings’, as directed in  paragraph  56,  including  the
additional terms of reference, as  mentioned  in  paragraph  57  above.  The
appellant  is  directed  to  render  assistance  and  provide  the  required
honorarium, as mentioned in paragraph 58 above.
(5)   In view of the settlement arrived at between the parties, as  well  as
Part-I  order  dated  25.7.2013  mentioned  in  paragraph   (1),   and   the
determination on the four additional issues as in paragraph  (2)  above,  no
further order is required on this appeal, and  the  appeal  stands  disposed
off accordingly.
(6)   The parties will bear their own costs. 


                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                        CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
                        CIVIL APPEAL NO.11150 OF 2013
          (@ out of SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 33402/2012)

Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai and Ors.   …   Appellants


Kohinoor CTNL Infrastructure Company Private
Limited and another                                …   Respondents

                          J  U  D  G  E  M  E  N  T

H.L. Gokhale J.

            Leave granted.
2.          This appeal is directed against the order dated 9.7.2012  passed
by a  Division  Bench  of  the  Bombay  High  Court  whereby  Writ  Petition
No.143/2012 filed by the respondents was  allowed,  and  which  quashed  the
stop work notice dated 22.12.2011 issued  by  Executive  Engineer  (Building
Proposal) City-III, Municipal  Corporation  of  Greater  Mumbai,  and  order
dated 27.4.2012 passed by the Additional Municipal Commissioner  restricting
to four floors the height of Wing ‘C’ (providing  for  public  parking  lot-
‘PPL’ for short) of the buildings being constructed on Plot  No.46  of  Town
Planning Scheme-III, N.C.Kelkar Road, Shivaji Park, Dadar, Mumbai.
Dispute between the parties, settlement thereof  and  Part-I  of  the  order
dated 25.7.2013:-

3.          This appeal was initially heard by a bench of G.S.  Singhvi  and
H.L. Gokhale, JJ.  Mr. Harish Salve and Mr. R.P Bhatt, both  learned  Senior
Counsel appeared for the appellants, and Mr.  F.S  Nariman,  learned  Senior
Counsel appeared for the respondent. The appellants wanted to  restrict  the
PPL up to four floors only, but  before  the  issuance  of  the  restrictive
circular dated 22.6.2011,  in  this  behalf,  the  respondents  had  already
consumed higher FSI (Floor Space Index) on the  basis  of  the  Commencement
Certificates issued earlier.   In  view  of  the  discussion  in  the  Court
however, a  settlement  was  arrived  at  between  the  appellants  and  the
respondents on the controversy  concerning  the  PPL.   Before  passing  the
order on the settlement, the bench noted  the  backdrop  of  the  facts  and
circumstances of the case in paragraphs 2  to  5  in  Part-I  of  the  order
passed on 25.7.2013 (per Singhvi, J. as  he  then  was).   These  paragraphs
read as follows:-
           “2.   The plans submitted by respondent No. 1  for  construction
           of Wings-‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ of the building were sanctioned by the
           competent authority of  the  Municipal  Corporation  of  Greater
           Mumbai  (for  short,  ‘the  corporation’)  and   Intimation   of
           Disapproval was issued on  15.2.2006.   After  the  Ministry  of
           Environment and Forests, Government of India  granted  clearance
           for the  construction  of  commercial  building,  the  competent
           authority issued commencement certificated dated 13.9.2006.  The
           Joint  Commissioner  of  Police  (Traffic)  issued   NOC   dated
           11.12.2009 for the development of a multi-storied public parking
           lot and vide letter dated 2.6.2010, the State government granted
           in-principle approval under Clause  33(24)  of  the  Development
           Control  Regulations  (DCR)  for  Greater   Mumbai,   1991   for
           construction of a multi-storied public parking lot.  Thereafter,
           the competent  authority  issued  the  Letter  of  Intent  dated

           3.     During  the  construction  of  the  building,  the  Urban
           Development Department of the State Government sent letter dated
           4.3.2011 to the Municipal Commissioner requiring him to submit a
           proposal for amendment of Clause 33 (24) of the DCR for limiting
           the height of parking towers to 4 floors and also for revocation
           of all sanctioned proposals where the commencement  certificates
           had not been issued.  In view of that  letter,  the  Corporation
           issued circular dated 22.6.2011 prescribing  certain  conditions
           under Clause (iv) of DCR 33(24) and clarified that all proposals
           for public parking lots shall be  considered  subject  to  those
           conditions.  The new conditions sought to limit  the  height  of
           public parking to ground plus 4 upper floors and 2 basements.

           4.    As a sequel to the above changes, the  Corporation  issued
           notice dated 29.11.2011 to respondent No. 1 under Section 51  of
           the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act,  1966  requiring
           it to show cause as to why the commencement certificate may  not
           be revoked.  Respondent No. 1  submitted  detailed  reply  dated
           14.12.2011 and pleaded that the amended  DCR  33(24)  cannot  be
           made   applicable   to   its   buildings   because   substantial
           construction had already been  made  at  a  cost  of  Rs.  167/-
           crores.  Thereafter, the  concerned  Executive  Engineer  issued
           stop work notice dated 22.12.2011 and directed respondent No.  1
           to restrict the work of public parking to 4 floors instead of 13
           floors.   After   about   six   months,   Additional   Municipal
           Commissioner passed order dated 27.4.2012, the relevant  portion
           of which is extracted below:-

           “As there is a substantial construction  on  core  part  of  the
           plot, PPL done in this part shall be allowed to  the  extent  of
           already executed construction as per  report  dated  27.12.2011.
           In the  remaining  portion  of  the  plot,  where  there  is  no
           substantial construction,  PPL  shall  be  limited  to  G  +  4,
           Developer is to be asked to modify his plans in consonance  with
           modified DCR.”

           5.    The respondent challenged the stop  work  notice  and  the
           order of the Additional Municipal Commissioner in Writ  Petition
           No. 143/2012, which  was  allowed  by  the  High  Court  in  the
           following terms:-

           “In the facts of this case, the admitted position as accepted in
           the order of the  Additional  Municipal  Commissioner  indicates
           that the work of development had substantially progressed by the
           time a notice to show cause was issued under Section 51  of  the
           M.R. & T.P.  Act,  1966.   The  impugned  order  passed  by  the
           Additional Municipal Commissioner restricting the Petitioners to
           a height of a ground floor and four upper floors in deviation of
           the permission granted earlier is thereafter  contrary  to  law.
           Hence, the impugned order would have to be quashed and set aside
           and is accordingly set aside.  The stop work  notice  which  has
           been issued to the Petitioners on the basis  of  the  notice  to
           show cause dated 29 November 2011 is to that extent quashed  and
           set aside.  Rule is made absolute in these terms.   There  shall
           be no order as to costs.”

4.          The above referred memorandum of settlement arrived  at  between
the parties contained clauses 1, 2 (a to e) and  an  annexure  thereto  with
respect to the modus-operandi  in  that  behalf.   Clauses  2  (a)  and  (b)
thereof are relevant for our purpose. They read as follows:-
                 “2.  In view of the peculiar facts and circumstances of the
           present case and  without  establishing  any  precedent,  it  is
           agreed between the Petitioners herein  and  the  Respondent  No.
           1(Kohinoor CTNL) as follows:-

                 a) In public interest, Public Parking  Lot  (PPL)  will  no
           longer be on ground + 13  upper  floors  as  initially  approved
           under amended approval dated 21st September, 2011 in Wing ‘C’ of
           the development of composite building on Final Plot No. 46,  but
           on the ground + 4 upper floors in Wing ‘C’ as well as  in  three
           level basement below Wing ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ i.e. entire basement,
           and the captive parking shall be on 5th to 13  upper  floors  in
           Wing ‘C’.

                 b) It is also agreed that in the present case of  F.P.  No.
           46, the PPL will be managed and operated by the Petitioner No. 1
           (MCGM) or its nominee(s) and common ingress and  egress  through
           the common entry/exist shall be provided in Wing ‘C’ for PPL  as
           well as captive parking for  Municipal  Corporation  of  Greater
           Mumbai and Respondent No. 1 (Kohinoor CTNL).  The modus-operandi
           in that behalf is detailed in Annexure hereto.”
                                           (emphasis supplied)

5.          Since the signed memorandum  of  settlement  was  filed  in  the
Court, the Court passed the following operative  order  in  paragraph  9  of
Part-I of the said order dated 25.7.2013:-
                 “9. Accordingly, the Memorandum of Settlement signed by the
           representatives of the parties and their advocates on  18.4.2013
           together with the annexure are taken on record.   We  note  that
           this settlement is arrived at on the backdrop of the  facts  and
           circumstances of this case.  We clarify  that  we  have  not  in
           anyway held the Municipal Circular dated 22.6.2011 to be bad  in
           law.  We direct that the parties shall  strictly  abide  by  the
           terms of settlement.”
                                          (emphasis supplied)

6.          The settlement has brought about the change as  desired  by  the
appellants, while taking care of interest of the  respondents.  The  complex
is going to be on the land which earlier belonged to Kohinoor  Textile  Mill
at Dadar, Mumbai.  Wing ‘A’ is to consist of  3  basements  +  ground  to  5
Floors, and Wing ‘B’ is to consist of 3 basements  +  ground  to  48  floors
with a total height of 195.90 meters.  Wing ‘C’ was to be in  two  parts  as
originally proposed.  Ground+14 Floors, thereof, were to be meant  for  PPL,
and 15 to 30 floors were to be kept for  residential  purposes.   Under  the
Municipal circular dated 22.6.2011 prescribing conditions under clause  (iv)
of DCR 33(24), the public parking  building  was  to  be  confined  only  to
ground+4 upper floors. The settlement accepts this position, and now as  per
the settlement, public parking is going to be provided in  the  ground  +  4
upper floors in Wing ‘C’ and also in the three level basements  below  Wings
A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’.  The private parking shall be from 5th to  13th  floors  of
Wing ‘C’.
Part-II of the order dated 25.7.2013 framing four issues:-

7.          Although the dispute between the parties, was  with  respect  to
the height of the building consisting of the  PPL,  it  was  felt  that  the
appellants had not applied their mind to some of the issues which, in  fact,
did arise in the matter of the grant of permission to this  complex  on  the
said plot No.46 in the heart of Mumbai city.  It was  noticed  that  as  per
the approved plan, the recreational space available at the ground level  was
reduced to only 7.7% of the area  of  the  plot,  as  against  the  required
minimum of 15% (where the area of the plot was  between  1001  sq.  mts.  to
2500 sq. mts. as per  the  DCR  23).   In  view  of  the  reduction  in  the
recreational area at the ground level, it was observed in  paragraph  13  of
the said order as follows:-
                 “…..We may add that since the petitioners  and  respondents
           have arrived at a settlement, we do not propose to go into  this
           issue with respect to the construction of  the  respondent.   We
           are, however, surprised that the Municipal Corporation  did  not
           look into the reduction in the recreational area at  the  ground
           level  very  seriously,  probably  because  the   rule   permits
           recreational space on the podium.   If  this  is  treated  as  a
           correct interpretation, then  it  is  quite  possible  that  the
           recreational area left at the ground level could simply be zero.
             It  may  leave  no  space  on  the  ground   floor   for   the
           residents/occupants  of  the  apartments  constructed   in   the
           particular building, and that will have serious  adverse  impact
           on the right to life not only of the residents/occupants of  the
           apartments but also of the people in the adjoining areas because
           all of them will have to only fall back on the public  parks  or
           play  grounds  and  gardens  for  their   minimum   recreational
                                          (emphasis supplied)

It was, therefore, felt that it was necessary  to  examine  the  co-relation
between  DCR-23,  which  provides  for  minimum  Recreational/Amenity   open
spaces, and DCR-38 (34) concerning the Podium.
8.          Secondly, it was noted that in the present matter a  higher  FSI
has been given in lieu of making a provision for public parking, leading  to
a high-rise building. Such high-rise constructions  bring  along  with  them
more population and more vehicles on the adjoining narrow roads and into  an
already congested area,  and  that  aspect  did  not  appear  to  have  been
examined by the appellant-Municipal Corporation.  In the instant  case,  the
approved complex is bounded on four sides by four  roads,  and  these  roads
are not, at all, wide.  The height of the  complex  is  going  to  be  quite
disproportionate to the width of these roads, but that  has  been  permitted
amongst other reasons in view of making  a  provision  for  public  parking.
Under DCR No.31 (1), the height of the building has to be in  proportion  to
the width of the road which is adjoining a building,  but   the  proviso  to
that DCR makes another exception to this rule with respect  to  construction
schemes  under  DCRs  Nos.33(7),  (8)  and  (9).   DCR  33(7)  is  regarding
reconstruction or redevelopment of cessed buildings in the island  city,  by
co-operative housing  societies,  or  of  old  buildings  belonging  to  the
Municipal Corporation or the police department, and it  grants  FSI  of  2.5
plus incentive FSI as specified in Appendix  III,  whichever  is  more.  DCR
33(8)  is  regarding  construction  for  housing  the  dis-housed,  by   the
Municipal  Corporation.   DCR   33(9)   is   regarding   reconstruction   or
redevelopment of cessed buildings or  urban  renewal  schemes  on  extensive
areas, where the FSI is 4.  These constructions also add to  the  population
and the vehicles in that very  area.   A  question  therefore  arose  as  to
whether these exemptions are justified, valid and legal?
9.          Thirdly, the impact of construction of  high-rise  buildings  in
the thickly populated areas on the traffic in the city  was  also  discussed
during the consideration of the SLP.  The Court noted  in  paragraph  14  of
the order, that although additional  space  for  public  parking  was  being
provided,  simultaneously  higher  FSI  was  also  being  granted   to   the
developer, on that count.  Consequently, such high-rise buildings would  add
more  number  of  vehicles  on  the  adjoining   streets.    This   required
examination of the impact  of  additional  FSI  on  the  traffic  situation,
particularly in the island city of Greater Mumbai.
10.          Lastly, considering that the height of the  complex  was  going
up to 198.50 meters, it was decided to look into the issue  of  hazards  due
to fire which the occupants of such towers could face.  It  was  noted  that
there were provisions with respect to the  space  to  be  kept  around  such
buildings for the movement of fire  engines  within  the  compound  of  such
buildings, but these provisions are not uniform.   The  fire  engines,  with
their ladders, available with the Municipal Corporation, do  not  reportedly
reach anywhere beyond 14th floor.  It  was  also  noted  that  recently  the
Secretariat  Building  of  the  State   of   Maharashtra   (known   as   the
‘Mantralaya’) was engulfed with fire.  The building  is  only  six  storeys,
and yet it took quite a few days to control the fire, and in  that  exercise
a few lives were unfortunately lost.  Therefore, the issue of safety of  the
occupants of  such  high-rise  buildings,  that  of  the  residents  in  the
neighbourhood, and the firemen, required urgent consideration.
11.         Therefore, in Part-II of its order dated  25.7.2013,  the  Bench
framed  four  issues  for  further  consideration.   These  issues  read  as
                 “(1) What should be the correlation between DCR 23 and  DCR
           38(34) regarding the recreational area?  Is  it  permissible  to
           reduce the minimum recreational area provided under  DCR  23  on
           any ground?

                 (2) Whether the exemption from DCR  31(1)  under  DCR  Nos.
           33(7), (8), and (9) is justified, valid and  legal  particularly
           in the island city of Greater Mumbai. If so, to what extent  and
           in which context?

                 (3) What is the impact of the addition of FSI in the island
           city on the traffic situation?  How can it be controlled?

                 (4) Whether the present mechanism  for  protection  against
           the  fire  hazards  is  adequate  and   is   being   implemented
           effectively?   If  not,  what  should  be  the   mechanism   for
           enforcement with respect to the provisions concerning  the  fire

12.         For that purpose, affidavits were sought from the following:-
                 “(A)  From the Municipal Corporation:-
                 (i)   The affidavit of the Chief Engineer, Town Planning on
                 issues no. 1 and 2.
                 (ii)  The  affidavit  of  the  Chief  Engineer,  concerning
                 traffic on issued no. 3.
                 (iii) The affidavit of the Chief Fire Officer on  issue  no
                 (B)   From the State of Maharashtra:-
                 (i)   By the Secretary,  Urban  Development  Department  on
                 issue nos. 1, 2 and 3 above.
                 (ii)  By the Commissioner of Police (Traffic) on issue  no.
                 3 above.”

13.         The excessive construction at the cost of  minimum  recreational
space, as seen in the present case, required an immediate  attention  to  be
paid to issue no. (1)..  Similarly,  issue  no.  (4).  concerning  the  fire
hazards also required urgent attention, and it was thought  that  the  Court
should go into the legality of the relevant provisions in  this  behalf.  As
against that, examination of the other two  issues  was  taken  up  for  the
reason that the development plan for the city  of  Mumbai  is  going  to  be
revised shortly, and certain suggestions  in  that  behalf  could  be  made.
Issue no. (2). arising out of exemptions to the  high-rise  buildings  under
DCR 33(7),(8), (9) and issue no.  (3)  concerning  the  impact  on  traffic,
required a detailed deliberation.  At this point, it is relevant to  mention
that a similar  approach  has  been  adopted  by  this  Court  in  Municipal
Corporation of Delhi Vs. Association of victims of  Uphaar  Tragedy  &  Ors.
reported in AIR 2012 SC 100.  That case concerned  the  compensation  to  be
paid to the victims of the fire in the ‘Upahaar’ theatre  at  Delhi.    This
Court decided the issue of compensation in paragraph  38  of  the  judgment.
However, the Court could not ignore that the fire  had   resulted  into  the
death of 59 persons and injury to 103 persons,  and  therefore,  this  Court
observed in paragraph 39 of the said judgment:-
                   “39. Normally we would have let the  matter  rest  there.
           But having regard to the special facts and circumstances of  the
           case we propose  to  proceed  a  step  further  to  do  complete

And then, the Court made a number of suggestions  in  paragraph  45  of  its
judgment  to  the  Government  for  its  consideration  and  implementation.
Similarly, although a settlement is arrived at,  on the controversy  between
the parties before the Court, considering the acute problems in the city  of
Mumbai with respect to shortage of recreational space, the fire hazards  and
high density of traffic, a further deliberation on the above  referred  four
issues was felt necessary.
14.         Thereafter, the matter has been  heard  by  the  present  Bench.
Consequent upon the above order, the necessary affidavits were filed by  the
officers of the appellant as well as the State of Maharashtra.  A number  of
interveners have also assisted the Court.  The interveners include  (i)  The
Urban Design Research Institute (‘UDRI’ for short) & Ors., (ii)  Maharashtra
Chamber of Housing Industry, (iii) Practicing Engineers Architects and  Town
Planners Association (India) and  (iv)  Property  Redevelopers  Association.
They have all assisted in the examination of these four  issues.    We  will
deal with their submissions in the context of the Maharashtra  Regional  and
Town Planning Act, 1966 (the ‘MRTP’ Act  for  short),  and  the  Development
Control Regulations  for  Greater  Mumbai,  1991,  framed  thereunder  which
govern these issues.
Issue no.1 concerning the reduction in the minimum recreational  space  from
the one as required under DCR 23:-

15.          The Development Control Regulations are  referable  to  Section
22(m) of the MRTP Act.  Section 21 of the said  Act  requires  the  planning
authority, i.e. the local authority (appellant no. 1 in  the  instant  case)
to prepare a development plan for the local area  within  its  jurisdiction.
Section 22  of  the  Act  lays  down  what  should  be  the  contents  of  a
development plan, and in that behalf it provides under sub-section (m)  that
it shall contain amongst others:-
                 “(m) provision for permission to be granted for controlling
           and regulating the  use  and  development  of  land  within  the
           jurisdiction of a local authority…..”

The present DCR’s for Greater Mumbai, 1991 were sanctioned by the  State  of
Maharashtra on 20.2.1991 and are enforced from  25.3.1991.   The  new  DCR’s
are shortly to be formulated for the next twenty years.

The DCR 23 on recreational / amenity open spaces:-
16.         The DCR 23 with which we are concerned in the first issue  reads
as follows:-
           “23. Recreational/Amenity Open Spaces:-
           (1) Open spaces in residential and commercial layouts—
           (a) Extent:—In any layout or sub-division of vacant  land  in  a
           residential and commercial zone, open spaces shall  be  provided
           as under:
           (i) Area from 1001 sq.m. to 2500 sq.m.     15 per cent
             (ii) Areas from 2501 sq.m. to 10000 sq.m.  20 per cent
            (iii) Area above 10000 sq.m.                     25 per cent.
           These   open   spaces   shall   be   exclusive   of   areas   of
           accesses/internal    roads/designations     or     reservations,
           development plan roads and areas for road-widening and shall  as
           far as possible be provided in one place.  Where,  however,  the
           area of the layout or sub-division is more than 5000 sq.m., open
           spaces may be provided in more than one place, but at least  one
           such places shall be not less than  1000  sq.m.  in  size.  Such
           recreational spaces will not be necessary in the  case  of  land
           used for  educational  institutions  with  attached  independent
           playgrounds. Admissibility of  FSI  shall  be  as  indicated  in
           Regulation 35.
           (b) Minimum area:—No such recreational space shall measure  less
           than 125 sq.m.
           (c)  Minimum   dimensions:—The   minimum   dimension   of   such
           recreational space shall not be less than 7.5  m.,  and  if  the
           average width of such recreational space is less than  16.6  m.,
           the length thereof shall  not  exceed  2'/2  times  the  average
           (d) Access:—Every plot meant for a recreational open space shall
           have an independent means of access, unless it  is  approachable
           directly from every building in the layout.
           (e) Ownership:—The ownership of such  recreational  space  shall
           vest, by provision in a deed of conveyance, in all the  property
           owners on account of whose holdings the  recreational  space  is
           (f)  Tree  growth:—Excepting  for  the  area  covered   by   the
           structures permissible under (g) below, the  recreational  space
           shall be kept permanently open to the sky and accessible to  all
           owners and occupants as a garden or a playground etc. and  trees
           shall be grown as under :—
           (a) at the rate of 5 trees per 100 sq.m. or part thereof of  the
           said recreational space to be grown within the entire plot.
           (b) at the rate of I tree per 80 sq.m. or  part  thereof  to  be
           grown in a plot for  which  a  sub-division  or  layout  is  not
           (g) Structures/uses permitted in recreational open spaces:—
           (i) In a recreational open space exceeding 400 sq.m. in  area  (
           in one piece), elevated/underground water  reservoirs,  electric
           substations, pump houses may be built and shall not utilise more
           than 10 per cent of the open space in which they are located.
           (ii) In a recreational open space or playground of 1000 sq.m. or
           more in area (in one piece and in  one  place),  structures  for
           pavilions, gymnasia, club houses and other  structures  for  the
           purpose of sports and recreation  activities  may  be  permitted
           with built-up area not  exceeding  15  per  cent  of  the  total
           recreational open spaces in one place. The area of the plinth of
           such a structure shall be restricted to 10 per cent of the areas
           of the total recreational open space. The  height  of  any  such
           structure which may be single storey shall not  exceed  8  m.  A
           swimming pool may also be permitted in such a recreational  open
           space and shall be free of FSI. Structures for such  sports  and
           recreation   activities   shall   conform   to   the   following
           (a) The ownership of such structures and other appurtenant users
           shall vest, by provision in a deed of  conveyance,  in  all  the
           owners on account of whose cumulative holdings the  recreational
           open space is required to be kept as recreational open space  or
           ground, viz. 'R.G.' in the layout or sub-division of the land.
           (b) The proposal for construction of such structure should  come
           as  a  proposal  from  the   owner/owners/society/societies   or
           federation of societies without any profit motive and  shall  be
           meant for the beneficial use of the owner/owners/members of such
           society / societies / federation of societies.
           (c) Such structures shall not be used  for  any  other  purpose,
           except for recreational activities, for which a security deposit
           as decided by the Commissioner will  have  to  be  paid  to  the
           (d) The  remaining  area  of  the  recreational  open  space  or
           playground shall be kept open to sky and properly accessible  to
           all members as a place of recreation, garden or a playground.
           (e) The owner/owners/or society/or societies  or  federation  of
           societies  shall  submit  to  the  Commissioner   a   registered
           undertaking agreeing to the conditions in (a) to (d) above.
           (2)  Open  spaces  in  industrial  plots/layouts  of  industrial
           (a) In any industrial plot admeasuring 10,000 sq.m. or  more  in
           area, 10 per cent of the total area  shall  be  provided  as  an
           amenity open space subject to a maximum of 2500 sq.m., and
           (i) such open space shall have proper means of access and  shall
           be so located that it can be conveniently utilised by the person
           working in the industry;
           (ii) the parking and loading and unloading  spaces  as  required
           under these Regulations shall be clearly shown on the plans;
           (iii) such open spaces shall be kept permanently open to sky and
           accessible to all the owners and occupants and  trees  shall  be
           grown therein at the rate of 5 trees for every 100 sq.m. of  the
           said open space to be grown within the entire  plot  or  at  the
           rate of 1 tree for every 80 sq.m. to be  grown  in  a  plot  for
           which a sub-division or layout is not necessary.
           (b) In case of sub-division of land admeasuring  8000  sq.m.  or
           more in area in an industrial zone, 5 per cent of the total area
           in addition to 10 per cent in (a) above  shall  be  reserved  as
           amenity open space, which shall also serve  as  general  parking
           space. When the additional amenity open space exceeds 1500 sq.m.
           the excess area may be used for construction  of  buildings  for
           banks, canteens, welfare centers,  offices,  crèches  and  other
           common purposes considered necessary  for  industrial  users  as
           approved by the Commissioner.”

The provision regarding the podium:-
17.         As has been noted in paragraph 13 of the order dated  25.7.2013,
the appellants did not look into the  issue  of  reduction  in  recreational
area at the ground level very seriously, probably because the  rule  permits
recreational space on the podium.  Some of the  interveners  very  seriously
canvassed that in view of the provision  concerning  recreational  space  on
the podium, the recreational / amenity open space at the ground level  could
legitimately be reduced.  The provision regarding the podium is seen in  DCR
No. 38 (34).   DCR  38  lays  down  the  requirements  concerning  parts  of
buildings.  DCR 38 (34) reads as follows:-
            “(34) Podium.
           (i) A podium may be permitted on plot admeasuring 1500 or
           (ii) The podium provided with ramp may be permitted  in  one  or
           more level, total height not exceeding 24 m. above ground level.
           However, podium not provided with ramp but provided with two car
           lifts may be permitted in one or more level,  total  height  not
           exceeding 9 mt. above ground level.
           (iii) The podium shall be used for the parking of vehicles.
           (iv) The recreational space prescribed in D.C. Regulation 23 may
           be provided either at ground level or on open to sky podium.
           (v) Podium shall not be permitted in required front open space.
           (vi) Such podium may be extended beyond  the  building  line  in
           consonance with provision of D.C. Regulation 43(1) on  one  side
           whereas on other side and rear side it shall be  not  less  that
           1.5m. from the plot boundary.
           (vii) Ramps may be provided in accordance with  D.C.  Regulation
           (viii) Adequate area for Drivers rest rooms and  sanitary  block
           may be permitted on podiums by counting in FSI.”

18.         As far as the issue no. 1 is concerned, this  Court  had  sought
the affidavit from the Chief  Engineer,  Town  Planning  of  the  appellant-
Municipal Corporation, and from the Secretary, Urban Development  Department
of  the  State  of  Maharashtra.   Shri  Manu  Kumar  Srivastava,  Principal
Secretary  to  the  Government  of  Maharashtra  in  the  Urban  Development
Department has filed an affidavit affirmed on 6.9.2013.  In para 4.4 he  has
stated as follows:-
                 “4.4) I submit that in quite a few cases, the  requirements
           of captive parking for the building can be met only by providing
           the same in basement or on upper parking floors or podium, which
           in turn requires provision of access / ramps etc.,  which  often
           makes it  difficult  to  provide  the  required  Recreational  /
           Amenity open spaces on the ground……”

Thereafter, he has stated that it is to overcome this  difficulty  that  the
DCRs have been amended with  effect  from  6.1.2012  to  allow  recreational
spaces on podium in plots  admeasuring  1500  sq.  mts.  or  more.   In  his
affidavit he has pointed out that in the redevelopment  projects  under  DCR
33(7) for reconstruction of cessed buildings,  and  for  the  urban  renewal
schemes under DCR 33(9), and for the slum rehabilitation projects under  DCR
33(10), it is permissible to reduce the Recreational / Amenity  open  spaces
to the limit prescribed in the respective regulations.  He has  stated  that
this has been done consciously to facilitate these schemes.
19.         On behalf of the  appellant-Municipal  Corporation  Shri  Rajeev
Kuknur,  Chief  Engineer  (Development  Plan)  has  affirmed  his  reply  on
6.9.2013.  In paragraph 6, thereof, he has also stated  that  the  provision
for parking on podium  has  been  made  to  facilitate  the  requirement  of
parking.  He has, however, added “in such situation it may not  be  possible
for the planner to provide the  entire  Recreational/Amenity  space  on  the
ground”.  Later in paragraph 7, he has pointed out  that  in  certain  other
situations the amenity open spaces  are  permitted  to  be  reduced.   Thus,
under DCR 33(1) read with Clause 6.20 of Appendix IV which  applies  to  the
redevelopment schemes for slums, the  amenity  space  can  be  reduced,  but
still a minimum of 8% of the amenity space shall be  maintained.   Clause  8
of  Appendix  III  applies  the  same  provision  to  the  reconstruction  /
redevelopment  of  cessed  buildings  under  DCR  33(7).   As  regards   the
development under DCR 33 (9), clause 12.14 of Appendix IIIA  concerning  DCR
33(9), states that, “Even if the recreational open space is reduced to  make
the project viable, a minimum of at least 10 percent of plot area  shall  be
provided as recreational open space.  In addition to  this,  10  percent  of
plot area shall be  earmarked  for  amenity  space  which  can  be  adjusted
against the DP reservation, if any”.
20.         It was canvassed on behalf of  Maharashtra  Chamber  of  Housing
Industry by Mr. S. Ganesh, learned Senior Counsel that DCR 38  (34)  clearly
provides under clause (iv) thereof, that the recreational  space  prescribed
in DCR 23 may be provided at the ground level or on open to sky podium.   In
his view, this will enable the developers to  provide  more  parking  spaces
within the plots concerned since now-a- days, there is  a  demand  for  even
two parking spaces per flat. He submitted that, in fact, this  will  give  a
large  continuous  open  space  on  the  podium  and  in  view  thereof  the
Recreational / Amenity space need not be at the ground level.  He  submitted
that even trees would be planted on the podium, and movements on the  podium
will be safer for elderly people as well as for  the  children.   The  areas
for parking and recreation on the podium can be  separately  ear-marked  for
that purpose.  A few photographs of such arrangements were also  brought  to
our notice. He submitted that in  view  of  the  necessity  of  having  more
accommodation and more parking spaces that this  provision  has  been  made,
and it should be interpreted accordingly.
21.          It is very relevant to note that  although  Mr.  F.S.  Nariman,
learned senior counsel appeared  for  the  respondents-Kohinoor,  he  stated
that after the  order  was  passed  by  this  Court  on  25.7.2013,  he  was
appearing to assist the Court on the four issues framed in Part-II  of  that
order as amicus-curie.  He pointed out that sub-clause (iv)  of  DCR  38(34)
lays down that the recreational  space  ‘may  be  provided’  either  at  the
ground level or on open to sky podium.  As against that the  Recreational  /
Amenity open space contemplated under DCR  23  was  mandatory.    Sub-clause
(1) (a) of DCR 23 speaks of ‘vacant land’ and the  open  spaces  as  far  as
possible ‘shall be provided’ at one place.  He,  therefore,  submitted  that
whereas the provision under DCR 23 is mandatory, the one  under  DCR  38(34)
is discretionary, and it cannot prevail over DCR 23.
22.         Similarly, though learned Senior Counsel  Mr.  Harish  N  Salve,
appeared for the Municipal Corporation,  until  the  passing  of  the  order
dated 25.7.2013, as far as the issue of recreational  spaces  on  podium  is
concerned, he submitted a separate note to assist the Court. He pointed  out
that as clause (iii) of the DCR 38(34) states, the podium shall be used  for
parking  of  vehicles.  Clause  (iv)  gives  a  further  option  to  provide
recreational space on the podium, but it links this  recreational  space  on
the podium to the recreational space prescribed in DCR 23, by  stating  that
the recreational space under DCR 23, may be provided at  the  ground  level,
or on the open-to-sky podium. In his submission, if read as  an  alternative
to the minimum recreational space on the ground floor, this  provision  will
lead to the serious erosion of  recreational  space  at  the  ground  level,
affecting the minimum necessities  of  life,  and  will  therefore  lead  to
violation of the right to life, and will have to be held as bad in  law,  as
against the guarantee provided under  Article  21  of  the  Constitution  of
India. As against that in his submission clause (iv)  can  survive  only  if
this clause is read down as inapplicable and not excluding the  recreational
space provided under  DCR  23.  In  other  words,  it  makes  an  additional
provision for recreational space, over and  above  the  one  at  the  ground
level, and does not in any way reduce the same. This is because  the  podium
is basically meant to provide  parking,  as  stated  in  clause  (iii).  Any
recreational space provided on the podium  is  entirely  discretionary,  and
that being so it cannot be read to lead to  a  reduction  in  the  mandatory
provision under Clause (iii).
23.         The UDRI was represented by learned  Senior  Counsel  Mr.  Shyam
Divan.   He pointed out that DCR 23 providing for recreational space at  the
ground level existed since the inception of DCR  in  1991,  and  even  prior
thereto since 1967.  It was always contemplated that the recreational  space
will be at the ground level, and not at an elevated level within  buildings.
This is clear from the provision with respect to the trees  and  playgrounds
contained in DCR 23. Besides, he  pointed  out  that  clause  (iii)  of  DCR
38(34) clearly provides that ‘podium  shall  be  used  for  the  parking  of
vehicles’, meaning thereby that it is essentially to  be  used  for  parking
purposes.  That apart, he submitted that there is clearly  a  risk  involved
in providing both parking as well as recreational space on the podium.   DCR
38 (34) (iv) has been introduced by way of an amendment only from  6.1.2012,
and it does  not  contain  a  non-obstante  clause  that  the  provision  is
notwithstanding  the  mandatory  requirement  under  DCR  23.   It   cannot,
therefore, be read in derogation of the main provision under DCR 23.
24.         Mr. Divan then brought to our notice the harsh  reality  of  the
open spaces becoming smaller and smaller in the city of Mumbai.   He  placed
the following hard statistics for our  consideration.   Greater  Mumbai  has
just 1.91 sq. mts. of open space per person.  Of this, less  than  0.88  sq.
mts. per person is accessible for recreational purpose.   This  is  woefully
inadequate as compared to the norms of 3 sq. mts. per capita  as  prescribed
by the National Building Code of India 2005 and of 11 sq.  mts.  per  capita
recommended by the Urban Development Plans  Formulation  and  Implementation
Guidelines (1996) of the Ministry of Urban  Affairs,  Government  of  India.
He pointed out that pouring of too  much  of  cement  and  concrete  is  not
conducive to good  human  living,  and  will  ultimately  affect  meaningful
‘life’ within the meaning of Article 21 of the  Constitution.   Recreational
spaces are intended to  ensure  that  there  are  green  “breathing  spaces”
between buildings and properties in the built-up environment. .   Trees  and
the land around them at the ground level are necessary for  controlling  the
air pollution from the point of view of health  of  human  beings  as  well.
The shifting of recreational space from the ground to  podiums  will  result
in higher level of concretization, diminishing green  cover,  and  buildings
being too close to each other, leading to increased city temperature
25.         Having noted these  submissions,  it  is  seen  that  podium  is
permissible only on plots admeasuring  1500  sq.  mts.  or  more.   So  this
provision is not applicable to plots smaller than 1500 sq. mts.  As  can  be
seen from DCR 23 (1) (a), it speaks of a lay-out or sub-division of  ‘vacant
land’ and open spaces.  The open  spaces  ‘shall  as  far  as  possible’  be
provided in one place.   If a lay-out or sub-division is more than 5000  sq.
mts., open space can be provided in more than one place, but  at  least  one
such place ‘shall be of not less than  1000  sq.  mts.’.   These  provisions
clearly show that they are mandatory.  Besides under sub-clause (f)  of  DCR
23  there  is  a  requirement  of  keeping  the  recreational   open   space
permanently open to the sky and trees are to be grown in that space as  laid
down, i.e. five trees per hundred square meters of  the  recreational  space
within the plot.  DCR 2 (64) defines ‘open space’ to mean  an  area  forming
an integral part of a site left open to the sky.  A ‘site’ is defined  under
DCR 2 (83)  to  mean  a  parcel  or  piece  of  land  enclosed  by  definite
boundaries.  These DCR’s when read together, very much make  it  clear  that
the recreational /amenity space has to be on the land i.e. on  ground  level
and it has got to be 15%, 20% or 25% of the area depending  upon  its  size.
As rightly pointed out by  learned  senior  counsel  Mr.  Nariman   and  Mr.
Salve, the requirement of recreational space on  the  podium  under  DCR  38
(34) (iv) is discretionary.  Besides, as the  above  referred  clause  (iii)
lays down, podium shall be basically used for parking. Besides  Clause  (iv)
does not contain a non-obstante clause to over-ride  the  requirement  under
DCR 23 making it mandatory to provide  recreational  space  on  the  ground-
floor.  That being so, the provision under DCR 38 (34)  cannot  be  read  in
derogation of the requirement under DCR 23  or  else  it  will  result  into
serious erosion in the basic requirements for  a  good  life  affecting  the
guarantee of right to life, under Article 21 of the Constitution  of  India.
We  have  therefore  to  read  down  clause  (iv)  of  the  DCR  38(34)   as
inapplicable and not excluding the mandatory provision under DCR 23.
26.         It is also relevant to note that the development  schemes  under
DCRs 33(7), 33(9) and 33(10) provide for lesser Recreational area /  Amenity
spaces.   Thus, under DCR 33(7) and 33(10) reduction  in  the  Amenity  open
space is permitted to make the project viable, but still minimum  8  percent
of the project area is required to be  maintained  as  Amenity  open  space.
Similarly, for the schemes under DCR 33(9) minimum 10 percent  of  the  plot
area is required to be retained as Recreational space. In other  properties,
where there are no such constraints  to  make  the  development  schemes  of
rehabilitation or reconstruction of old buildings or slums viable, there  is
no reason why the Amenity open space at the ground level should be  read  as
permissible, to be reduced.  The only ground being given is to provide  more
parking  and  more  accommodation,  meaning   thereby   more   construction,
concretization and financial expediency.  Such  a  purpose  cannot  be  read
into the provisions as they presently exist, nor is it desirable  to  do  so
from the point of view of the requirement of  minimum  open  spaces  at  the
ground level.
27.         Besides, as pointed out by Mr. Divan, the requirement of  having
trees and open land around them is necessary from an environmental point  of
view, since there is already excessive concretization, and  a  very  serious
reduction in open spaces at the ground level.  It must  be  noted  that  the
right to  a clean and healthy environment is within  the  ambit  of  Article
21, as has been noted in Court on its Own Motion v. Union of India  reported
in 2012 (12) SCALE 307 in the following words:-
                 “The scheme under  the  Indian  Constitution  unambiguously
           enshrines in itself the right of a citizen to life under Article
           21 of the Constitution. The right to life is  a  right  to  live
           with dignity, safety and in a clean environment.”

The right to a clean and pollution free environment, is also a  right  under
our common-law jurisprudence, as has been held  by  this  Court  in  Vellore
Citizen’s Welfare Forum v. Union of India and Ors reported in  (1996)5SCC647
where this Court held:-
                 “The Constitutional  and  statutory  provisions  protect  a
           persons right to fresh  air,  clean  water  and  pollution  free
           environment, but the source of  the  right  is  the  inalienable
           common law right  of a clean environment.”

In the same judgment the Court  emphasized  the  importance  of  Sustainable
Development, and the need for a balance between development  and  ecological
considerations, in the following words:-
                 “The traditional concept that development and  ecology  are
           opposed to each other, is no longer acceptable….
                  ‘Sustainable  Development’   is   the   answer…Sustainable
           Development  as  defined  by   the   Brundtland   Report   means
           "development  that  meets  the  needs  of  the  present  without
           compromising the ability of the future generations to meet their
           own needs". We have no hesitation in holding  that  "Sustainable
           Development'  as  a  balancing  concept  between   ecology   and
           development has  been  accepted  as  a  part  of  the  Customary
           International Law though its salient features  have  yet  to  be
           finalised by the International Law jurists.”

28.         Therefore, after reflecting upon  the  legal  position,  we  are
clearly of the opinion that having 15%, 20% or 25% of  the  area  (depending
upon the size of the  lay-out)  as  the  recreational/amenity  area  at  the
ground level is a minimum requirement, and it will have to be read as  such.
 We therefore, answer the issue no. 1 by holding that it is not  permissible
to reduce the minimum recreational area provided under  DCR  23  by  relying
upon DCR 38(34).  However, if the developers wish  to  provide  recreational
area on the podium, over and above the minimum area mandated by  DCR  23  at
the ground level, they can certainly provide  such  additional  recreational
Issue No.4 with respect to the protection against the fire hazards:-

29.         As stated earlier, this  issue  was  decided  to  be  gone  into
considering that the main building in the present complex is going to be  of
48 storeys. This issue was decided to be gone into also in the  backdrop  of
the recent fire  that  engulfed  the  six  storey  Secretariat  building  of
Maharashtra, in Mumbai.  It took a few days to  extinguish  the  fire  which
resulted into a loss of lives. This Court sought the affidavit of the  Chief
Fire Officer of the appellant-Municipal Corporation  on  this  issue.   Shri
Suhas Vishnu Joshi, Chief Fire Officer, Mumbai Fire  Brigade,  has  affirmed
his reply on 15.9.2013.  In paragraph 3 of  his  affidavit,  he  has  stated
that the  Fire  Brigade  of  the  appellant-Municipal  Corporation  has  got
special appliances such as Aerial Ladder Platform which can reach up to  the
height of 70 meters, and the department  is  in  the  process  of  procuring
special appliances which can reach up  to  the  height  of  90  meters.   In
paragraph 4, he has accepted that in high-rise buildings  above  90  meters,
the  fire-fighting  operations  cannot  be  carried  out  from  outside  the
building alone.  They are also to be fought from inside  the  building  with
the help of fire safety and protection measures / installations provided  in
the high-rise buildings as per the building by-laws.   He  has  pointed  out
the  passive  safety  measures  as  well  as  active  fire  safety  measures
necessary for the high-rise buildings in his affidavit.   Amongst  the  fire
safety measures, he has pointed out that the width of the  access  road  and
the open space for maneuverability of fire appliances has to be adequate.
30.         It is also pointed out in this affidavit that there is  a  State
Act known as Maharashtra Fire Prevention and Life Safety Measures Act,  2006
under which the developers / society  in-charge  of  the  building  have  to
maintain the fire prevention and life safety measures  in  good  repair  and
efficient condition at all times.  In paragraph 7 of his  affidavit  he  has
stated that for any  high-rise  and  special  type  building,  No  Objection
Certificate from the Chief Fire Officer  is  required  at  two  stages  viz.
prior to the construction of the building and after the  compliance  of  the
requirement.  Besides, for buildings having a height above 70 meters,  there
is a High Rise Technical Committee  under  the  Chairmanship  of  a  retired
Hon’ble High Court Judge with other experts and the proposal for  high  rise
buildings has to be cleared by this committee.
31.         As  far  as  the  maneuverability  of  the  fire  appliances  is
concerned, fire protection requirements under DCR 43 become relevant.   This
DCR 43 is split in two parts (1) General and (2) Exits for  every  building.
It reads as follows:-

                 “43. Fire Protection Requirements:-

           (1)  General:—The  planning  design  and  construction  of   any
           building shall be such as to ensure safety from fire. For thi  s
           purpose, unless otherwise specified in  these  Regulations,  the
           provisions  of  Part-IV;  Fire  Protection   Chapter.   National
           Building Code shall apply. For  multi-storeyed,  high  rise  and
           special  buildings,  additional  provisions  relating  to   fire
           protection contained in Appendix VIII shall also apply-

           (A) For proposal under regulations 33(7) and 33(10), in case  of
           rehabilitation/composite buildings on plots  exceeding  600  sq.
           mts. and having height more than 24 m. at least, one side  other
           than road side shall have clear open space of  6  m.  at  ground
           level, accessible from road side.

                 Provided, if the building abuts another road  of  6  m.  or
           more this condition shall not be insisted.

                 Provided further that in case  of  redevelopment  proposals
           under DCR 33(7), for plot size upto 600 sq. mt.,  1.5  mts  open
           space will be deemed to be adequate.

           (B) For the proposals other than (A) above

                 (a) Building having height more than 24 m. upto  70  m.  at
           least one side, accessible from road side, shall have clear open
           space of 9 m. at ground level.

                 Provided however, if podium is proposed it shall not extend
           3 m. beyond building so as to  have  clear  open  space  of  6m.
           beyond podium.

                 Provided further,  where  podium  is  accessible,  to  fire
           appliances by a ramp, then above restriction shall not apply.

                 (b) Buildings having height more than 70 m.  at  least  two
           sides accessible from road side, shall have clear open space  of
           9m. at ground level.

                 Provided however ramps if podium is proposed it  shall  not
           extend 3m. beyond building line so as to have clear  open  space
           6m. beyond podium.  No ramps for the podium shall be provided in
           these side open spaces.

                 Provided  further,  where  podium  is  accessible  to  fire
           appliances by a ramp then above restriction shall not apply.

                 (c) Courtyard/ramp podium  accessible  to  fire  appliances
           shall be capable of taking the load upto 48 tonnes.

                 (d) These open spaces shall be free  from  any  obstruction
           and shall be motorable.

           (2) Exits:—Every building meant for  human  occupancy  shall  be
           provided with exits sufficient to  permit  safe  escape  of  its
           occupants in case of fire or other emergency for which the exits
           shall conform to the followings :—

                 (i)  Types:—Exits  should  be  horizontal  or  vertical.  A
           horizontal exit may be a door-way, a corridor, a passage-way  to
           an internal or external stairway or to an adjoining building,  a
           ramp, a verandah, or a terrace which has access to the street or
           to the roof of a building. A vertical exit may be a staircase or
           a ramp, but not a lift.

                 (ii) General requirements.—Exits from all the parts of  the
           building, except those not accessible for  general  public  use,

                 (a) provide  continuous  egress  to  the  exterior  of  the
           building or to an exterior open space leading to the street;

                 (b) be so arranged that, except in a residential  building,
           they can be reached without having  to  cross  another  occupied

                 (c) be free of obstruction;

                 (d) be adequately illuminated;

                 (e) be clearly  visible,  with  the  routes  reaching  them
           clearly marked and signs posted to guide any person to the floor

                 (f) be fitted, if necessary, with fire  fighting  equipment
           suitably located but not as to  obstruct  the  passage,  clearly
           marked and with its location clearly indicated on both sides  of
           the exit way;

                 (g) be fitted with a fire alarm device, if it is  either  a
           multi-storeyed, high-use or a special building so as  to  ensure
           its prompt evacuation;

                 (h) remain unaffected by any alteration of any part of  the
           building so far as their number, width, capacity and  protection
           thereof is concerned;

                 (i) be so located that the travel  distance  on  the  floor
           does not exceed the following limits :—

                 (i) Residential, educational, institutional  and  hazardous
           occupancies: 22.5 m.

                 (ii) Assembly, business, mercantile, industrial and storage
           buildings: 30 m.

           Note:—The travel distance to an exit from  the  dead  end  of  a
           corridor shall not exceed half  the  distance  specified  above.
           When more than one exit is required on a floor, the exits  shall
           be as remote from each other as possible:

                 Provided  that  subject  to  the   provision   under   D.C.
           Regulation 44(5) (a)   for  all  multi-storeyed  high  rise  and
           special buildings, a minimum of  two  enclosed  type  staircases
           shall be provided, at least one of them opening directly to  the
           exterior to an interior, open space or  to  any  open  place  of

                 (iii) Number and width of  Exits:—The  width  of  an  exit,
           stairway/corridor and exit door to be provided at each floor  in
           occupancies of various types shall be as shown in columns 3  and
           5 of Table 21 hereunder. Their number  shall  be  calculated  by
           applying to every 100 sq.m. of the plinth or covered area of the
           occupancy, the relevant multiplier in columns 4  and  6  of  the
           said Table, fractions being rounded off upward  to  the  nearest
           whole number.”

32.           Now, what is seen here is that under Clause 1 (B) of  DCR  43,
for buildings having heights of more than 24 meters  up  to  70  meters,  at
least one side accessible from road side shall have clear open  space  of  9
meters at ground level.  For buildings  which  have  a  height  of  more  70
meters, at least two sides accessible from road sides, shall  have  a  clear
open space of 9 meters at ground level.  In both these  cases  where  podium
is proposed, it shall not extend 3 meters beyond the building line so as  to
leave clear open space of 6 meters beyond podium.  Similarly  Clause  1  (A)
lays down that in case of the proposals under DCR 33(7) (which are  for  the
cessed  building)  and  those  under  33(10)  (which  are   for   the   slum
rehabilitation), if the plot of the building exceeds 600 sq.  mts.  and  the
building is having height of more than 24 meters, at least  one  side  other
than the road side shall have a clear open  space  of  6  meters  at  ground
level accessible from the road side.  The first  proviso  to  Clause  1  (A)
makes an exception if the building abuts another road of 6 meters  or  more.
In that case this condition is not  insisted.   Thus,  as  can  be  seen,  a
minimum access of 6 meters to every building from  two  sides  is  insisted,
i.e. from a road side and from one side within the  property,  or  from  two
road sides so that the fire engine can approach the building at  least  from
two sides.  The second proviso under Clause 1 (A)  however  states  that  if
the redevelopment proposal is under DCR 33(7)  i.e.  for  reconstruction  or
redevelopment of cessed buildings on plots of size upto 600 sq.  mts.,  only
1.5 meters side open space will be deemed to be adequate.  This will mean  a
space of just about 5 feet or so, through which a fire engine can  certainly
not enter.
33.         We asked Mr. R.P. Bhatt, learned Senior  Counsel  appearing  for
the Municipal Corporation as to what would be the height of these  buildings
on plots upto 600 sq. mts., and his answer was that it will  depend  on  the
number of flats for the families to be accommodated in such  buildings,  and
it may as well go up to 20  floors.   Mr.  Ganesh,  learned  Senior  Counsel
appearing for the Maharashtra  Chamber  of  Housing  Industry  defended  the
existing provision on the ground of economic  viability  of  such  projects,
and submitted that for such projects under DCR 33(7), the side space  inside
the property will have to be reduced on that count. He submitted  that  some
of these plots are very small and are in congested  areas,  and  that  these
redevelopment schemes are carried out  by  private  developers.   Additional
construction is required to be carried out to provide minimum  accommodation
to the existing occupants as well as for the newly  entering  occupants  who
pay higher amounts to buy the additional flats.  He referred to  and  relied
upon a judgment of a bench of two judges of  this  Court  in  Jayant  Achyut
Sathe Vs. Joseph Bain D’souza & Ors. reported in 2008 (13) SCC  547  wherein
the challenge to the 1.5 m. open space (i.e. about 5 feet)  in  the  schemes
under DCR 33 (7) came to be rejected.
34.   (i)   On the other hand, Mr. Nariman pointed  out  that  although  the
ladders / snorkels which the fire department are supposed to go  up  to  the
height of 70 meters, the maximum reach of the  snorkel  depends  on  various
factors such as wind velocity, availability of space, and tilt and angle  of
the approach.  Thus, the reach is always less than the  theoretical  maximum
height.  Besides, there are 33 Fire Brigade Stations in Greater  Mumbai,  15
in the city, 12 in Western Suburbs and 6 in Eastern Suburbs.  None of  these
stations have sufficient equipments (snorkels) in their stations since  they
are in limited numbers.
(ii)  It was also pointed out by Mr. Nariman that as  far  as  the  internal
arrangement in the multi-storey buildings is concerned, a  refuge  floor  is
required to be provided above every 7  floors  for  buildings  crossing  the
height of 24 meters.  However,  these  refuge  floors  are  very  often  not
properly maintained, are not kept vacant, and are used for  other  purposes.
The consequence is that  the  effectiveness  of  the  fire  protection  from
within the building remains in peril.  He further pointed out that the  Fire
Brigade is supposed to check installations  such  as  sprinklers  and  other
fire-fighting  equipments  as  provided  under  Appendix  VIII  inside   the
buildings periodically, but the department  is  understandably  over-worked,
and therefore not in a position to effectively cover all  the  buildings  in
the city.
35.          Mr. Shyam Divan, learned Senior Counsel appearing for the  UDRI
pointed out that the present fire protection requirements contained  in  DCR
43(1) if strictly complied with, could be considered as  adequate  for  mid-
rise buildings and structures up to 13 storeys.  However, when it  comes  to
the  high-rise  buildings,  the  fire  safety  requirements  are   primarily
compromised by relaxation in the access under DCR 17 and  the  side  open  /
setback spaces between the buildings under DCR 28.  He  submitted  that  the
provision contained in the second proviso  of  DCR  43(1)(A)  could  not  be
36.         As far as the schemes under DCR 33(7) are concerned,  Mr.  Shyam
Divan, learned Senior Counsel appearing for the UDRI has  pointed  out  that
there is already a criticism with respect to these schemes  viz.  that  they
are working more for the developers and for the  private  new  entrants  who
buy the flats at higher costs, than for providing the accommodation  to  the
existing occupants.  The State Government is also raising its hands  on  the
ground of financial difficulties to take  up  such  schemes.   Consequently,
the  inability  of  fire  engines  to  go  into  such  plots,  and   thereby
permanently denying the  occupants  adequate  fire  protection  is  not  the
concern of either of them.  Protection of the  environment  and  human  life
are constitutional mandates, and even  if  the  developers  and  the  public
authorities choose to ignore these essentials, this Court cannot.
Adequate access for the fire-engines as an essential requirement:-

37.         Having noted the submissions of all the counsel in this  behalf,
what we find is that whereas the provisions for the  mid-rise  buildings  up
to 13 floors  are  somewhat  adequate,  those  beyond  are  required  to  be
strictly implemented from within as well.  The  provisions  for  the  refuge
floor and various requirements from within have to be  strictly  scrutinized
and insisted upon.  That apart the second proviso  to  DCR  43(1)(A)  cannot
stand scrutiny of minimum safety requirement.  If the access of 6 meters  is
required from at least one side within the property for the fire  engine  to
enter and move inside, we fail to see as to how in  redevelopment  proposals
under DCR 33(7) where the plot size is up to 600 sq.  mts.,  open  space  of
1.5 meters, can be said to be  adequate.   As  fairly  pointed  out  by  Mr.
Bhatt, the buildings on such plots can also go up to  20  floors,  depending
upon the number of flats for the occupants to be provided for.  If  that  is
so, it is necessary to have an open space of the width of  6  meters  within
the property for the fire engine to enter the property  at  least  from  one
side which is so provided for every other building.
38.         It is true that in Jayant Achyut Sathe (supra) the challenge  to
the five feet open space  in  the  schemes  under  DCR  33(7),  came  to  be
rejected.  However, as can be seen from paragraph 49  of  the  judgment,  it
was principally rejected on the ground that  the  challenge  was  hopelessly
delayed since this provision restricting the open spaces  in  these  schemes
had been in existence since 1984.   The question of fire engines  not  being
able to go inside such plots, was raised in the Bombay High Court, but  this
Court has not gone into that aspect in the said judgment.   We  are  looking
into the issue of the side space on the backdrop of the failure of the  fire
brigade  to  quickly  extinguish  the  fire  even  in   the   six   storeyed
Secretariate building in Mumbai, which has sufficient  side  spaces  on  all
sides.  Not providing a minimum space of 6 meters which makes room  for  the
fire-engine to access the building amounts to  violation  of  the  right  to
life and equality of the residents of these buildings, by not providing  the
same standard of safety to them which  is  available  to  residents  of  all
other buildings.  It is true that some of these plots under  the  DCR  33(7)
schemes are small plots and are in congested areas.   But  if  that  is  so,
nothing prevents the State Government from  taking  over  such  schemes  for
which it can finance from the overall cess collection.  In  such  cases,  it
may have to accommodate only the  existing  occupants.   This  can  also  be
achieved by calling upon such occupants to  partly  contribute  towards  the
construction cost. But human life cannot be  made  to  suffer  only  on  the
ground  that  in  the  redevelopment  scheme  sufficient  access  cannot  be
provided for the fire engine to enter within the plot even  from  one  side.

39.         We are, therefore, of the view that the second  proviso  to  DCR
43(1)(A) is discriminatory as against the occupants of the plots up  to  the
size of  600  sq.  mts.  and  therefore  violative  of  Article  14  of  the
Constitution of India.  The provision is  likely  to  lead  to  a  hazardous
situation, affecting the life of the occupants, and therefore  violative  of
Article 21 of the Constitution.  We, therefore, hold  the  provision  to  be
bad in law. If the fire is to be extinguished  at  the  earliest  the  fire-
engine must  be  able  to  reach  the  spot  of  fire,  without  any  delay.
Maneuverability of the fire engine is, therefore, of utmost  importance.  As
such, most of the city roads are very narrow. On top of that if there is  no
adequate space for the fire engine to  enter  the  property,  the  situation
will become worse.   We are clearly of the view that even for  redevelopment
proposals of plots up to the size of 600 sq. mts. under DCR 33(7),  an  open
space of the width of 6 meters within the property which is accessible  from
the road on one side, will have to be maintained unless the  building  abuts
roads of 6 meters or more on two sides, or another appropriate access  of  6
meters to the building is available apart  from  the  abutting  road.   This
will be subject to the decision  of  the  Chief  Fire  Officer  in  writing.
Besides, we also  feel  that  it  is  necessary  to  direct  that  the  fire
department must insist from the developer/society of all the  buildings,  to
certify at least once in six months that the access  to  the  building,  the
internal exits and the internal fire fighting  arrangements  are  maintained
as per the expectations under the DCR, the norms  of  the  fire  department,
and must check them periodically, on its own.
The decision on Issues no. 1 and 4 to apply prospectively:-
40.         Although, for the reasons stated above, we are of the view  that
the provision under DCR 38 (34) cannot be read  in  derogation  to  the  one
under DCR 23 with respect to  the  recreational  area,  and  also  that  the
second proviso to  DCR  43  (1)  (A)  on  fire  protection  requirements  is
hazardous and discriminatory against the occupants of the schemes under  DCR
33 (7), we do note the submission by the intervening  Practicing  Engineers,
Architects,  and  Town  Planners  Association  that  any  such  declaration/
changes  be  implemented  with  prospective  effect,   namely,   where   the
commencement certificate (CC) has yet not been granted.
Issue No.2 regarding height of the buildings  vis-à-vis  the  width  of  the
adjoining road, and Issue No.3 on  the  impact  of  additional  FSI  on  the
traffic situation:-

41.         As far as the issues no.2 and 3 are concerned, though they  are,
in a way, independent issues, they are inter-related  also,  and  therefore,
we  will  deal  with  them  together.   These  are  issues  requiring  wider
consideration and consultation amongst planners, and as far as these  issues
are  concerned,  this  Court  will  confine   itself   to   making   certain
recommendations for consideration of the planners.   This  is  because  this
Court is conscious of the fact that the new development plan  for  the  city
of Mumbai is in the process of being drafted.  It is  for  the  planners  to
examine these issues.  However,  since  these  issues  have  arisen  in  the
context of the present matter, this Court has invited the response from  the
appellant-Municipal Corporation  as  well  as  the  State  Government.   The
concerned interveners have also made their submissions.  We shall look  into
the  submissions  in  this  behalf  and   make   certain   suggestions   for
consideration in the light thereof.
Issue No. 2-Height of buildings, vis-à-vis width of the roads:-
42.         DCR 31 (1) lays down that the height of  a  building  shall  not
exceed one and a half times the total of the width of the  street  on  which
it abuts.  Issue No. 2 is framed in the backdrop of the  fact  that  in  the
present case, a tower of the height of 195.90 meters is  being  constructed.
This tower is bounded  by  four  roads  and  the  height  of  the  tower  is
disproportionately high, as against the width of the adjoining  roads.   The
first proviso to DCR 31(1) lays down that  this  restriction  shall  not  be
applicable for  construction  of  buildings  undertaken  under  DCR  section
33(7), 33(8) and 33(9).   Though,  these  DCR’s  are  for  the  housing  re-
development schemes they also add to the population in the  particular  area
as well as the vehicles.  It is from this point of view  that  the  question
has been framed as to whether  these  exemptions  are  justified,  valid  or
legal?   DCR 31(1) reads as follows:-
            “31. Height of Buildings

           (1) Height vis-à-vis the road width.- The height of  a  building
           shall not exceed one and a half times the road of the  width  of
           the street on which it abuts and the required front open  space.
           The  restrictions  of  height  of  the  building  spelt  out  in
           Regulation No. 31(1) shall however, cease to apply in case where
           the plot front on road having with more  than  18.00  mtrs.  And
           where front marginal open space of 12 mtrs. Minimum is observed,
           provided that open spaces on other sides are made  available  as
           required from the fire safety point of view.  For this  purpose,
           the width of the street may  be  the  prescribed  width  of  the
           street, provided the height of  the  building  does  not  exceed
           twice the sum of the width of the existing street and the  width
           of the prescribed and required open space between  the  existing
           street and the building.  The latter width shall  be  calculated
           by dividing the area of land between the street and the building
           by the length of the front face of the building.


           (i)”Prescribed width” here means the  width  prescribed  in  the
           development plan or the width resulting from the prescription of
           a  regular  line  of  the  street  under  the  Bombay  Municipal
           Corporation Act, 1888, whichever is larger.

           (ii) If a building  abuts  two  or  more  streets  of  different
           widths, it shall be deemed for that purpose of  this  Regulation
           to abut the wider street; the height of the  building  shall  be
           regulated by the width of that street and may  be  continued  to
           this height to a  depth  of  24m.  along  the  narrower  street,
           subject to conformity with Regulation 28:

           [Provided however, that restrictions on height spelt out in this
           regulation  shall  not  be  applicable  for  reconstruction  and
           redevelopment  of  old  buildings  undertaken  under  Regulation
           33(7), 33(8) and 33(9)  of  these  Regulations,  which  are  not
           affected by Coastal  Regulation  Zone  Notification  dated  19th
           February, 1991,  issued  by  the  Ministry  of  Environment  and
           Forests, Government of India, and orders  issued  from  time  to

           [Provided however that restrictions on height spelt out in  this
           Regulation shall not be applicable for construction of buildings
           undertaken  under  regulation  33(10)  and   33(14)   of   these
           regulations for implementation of Slum Rehabilitation Scheme.]”

43.         As far as this issue is concerned, response was sought from  the
Secretary, Urban Development Department, of State of  Maharashtra,  and  the
Chief Engineer Town Planning of the appellant.  Shri Manu Kumar  Srivastava,
Principal   Secretary,   Urban   Development   Department,   Government   of
Maharashtra has  explained  these  exemptions  in  his  affidavit.   He  has
pointed out that these schemes under DCR 33(7),  33(8)  and  33(9)  seek  to
achieve free of cost in-situ-rehabilitation of the occupants living  in  old
and dilapidated buildings.  Therefore, to make the scheme viable,  incentive
FSI is granted, which the developer uses to construct what is  called  as  a
‘sale component’ that is sold  in  the  open  market  to  recover  the  cost
incurred by him for constructing the tenements  for  rehabilitation  of  the
existing tenants.   Therefore,  the  restriction  on  the  height  of  these
buildings vis-à-vis the width of the road, is required to be relaxed.
44.         Shri Rajiv  Kuknur,  Chief  Engineer,  Development  (Development
Plan)  in  his  affidavit  on  this  issue  on  behalf  of  the  appellants,
reiterated that the  exemptions  under  these  DCRs  are  for  accommodating
existing  tenants  which  is  done  with  the   participation   of   private
developers. Mr. Ganesh, appearing for the  Maharashtra  Chamber  of  Housing
Industry, has similarly justified granting higher FSI  and  construction  of
the high-rise buildings on that footing.
45.         The State Government was represented by learned Senior  Counsel,
Mr. Shekhar Naphade. He pointed that the city was suffering from some  basic
constraints  viz.  on  the  one  hand,  the   population   was   increasing,
particularly in the suburbs, and on the  other  hand,   the  land  resources
were very limited.   There was also the floating population moving from  the
northern suburbs to the city everyday and returning  back  by  the  evening.
He  submitted  that  one  has  to  take  into  consideration  the  practical
realities.  At the time when the development plan was prepared in 1991,  the
appellant-Municipal Corporation found that it could  not  acquire  land  for
various public projects such as gardens and playgrounds and  therefore,  the
concept of Transferred Development Rights (TDR) was  introduced,  whereunder
the land owner surrenders the land required for gardens or  playgrounds  and
gets the TDR in lieu thereof.  He pointed out that  the  population  density
in Mumbai was very high.  It was 270 persons per hectare as against  106  of
New York, 83 of Singapore and  64  of  Hongkong.   The  Corporation  had  to
adjust the competing interests and  therefore,  at  appropriate  places  the
high-rise buildings had to be permitted.
46.         Mr. Shyam Divan, on the other hand, submitted  that  these  tall
structures have affected access to natural light  and  ventilation  and  has
created number of health problems.  In his submission, there should  not  be
a blanket exemption for projects involving additional FSI  from  the  height
restrictions under DCR 31.  There should be accountability on  the  part  of
the authority and the project developer to whom relaxation is  granted.   He
submitted that some of these buildings which were  reconstructed  with  high
FSI under DCR 33(7), (8) and (9), had been reduced to vertical  slums.   The
developers do not bother to look into the maintenance of these schemes,  the
construction is poor and a large number of  the  occupants  for  whom  these
houses are constructed, sell them and the  purpose  of  having  the  scheme,
gets defeated.
Issue No.3 concerning impact of FSI on the traffic situation:-

47.         As far as issue  No.  3  viz.  impact  of  FSI  on  the  traffic
situation is concerned, Shri Manu Kumar Srivastava, has pointed that as  per
the census of 2011, 30.82 lakhs people were  staying  in  the  island  city.
Due to the accelerated economic growth, there is a spurt in the vehicles  of
the occupants, as well as, those entering the island city.  In para 6.3,  he
has placed on record the  steps  taken  by  the  State  Government  in  this
behalf.  This paragraph 6.3 reads as follows:-
                 “6.3 ….
                    i) Revising the captive parking requirements upwards for
                       various categories of buildings.
                   ii) Introducing instruments like  Regulation  33(24)  for
                       creating public parking lots.
                  iii) Taking up construction of mass rapid transit  systems
                       like Metro Rail, Mono Rail etc. so as to wean  people
                       away  from  the  use   of   personalized   means   of

In para 6.4 he has referred to the  suggestions  made  by  a  High-  Powered
Committee regarding traffic management  and  that  steps  were  being  taken
according to those recommendations.  In para 7  of  his  affidavit,  he  has
stated that the draft development plan for the  period  2014-2034  is  under
preparation, wherein many of these difficulties will be taken care of.
48.         Shri R.C. Dixit,  Chief  Engineer,  Roads  and  Traffic  of  the
appellant-Municipal Corporation has filed his affidavit on issue No. 3.   He
has pointed out that the number of vehicles in Greater Mumbai has  increased
from 3.08 lakhs from 1981 to 19.38 lakhs in 2011,  and  the  population  has
increased during this period from 82.43 lakhs  to  124.78  lakhs.    Out  of
this population, that of the island city is 31.06  lakhs.   He  has  pointed
out in  paragraph  16  of  his  affidavit  that  the  State  Government  has
constituted a High Powered Committee on 6.6.2012 to suggest  corrective  and
remedial  measures.   It  has  also  to   prepare   an   action   plan   for
recommendations up to 2016-2017.   In  paragraph  18,  he  has  referred  to
various recommendations made by the High  Powered  Committee  and  that  the
same are being followed.
49.         Shri Vivek Phansalkar, Commissioner of Police, Traffic,  Mumbai,
has stated in paragraph 9 of his reply that as per information of the  State
Transport Department, on an average 450 new vehicles  were  being  added  to
the road network every day.  The vehicular population by  January  2013  was
nearly 21 lakhs.  He has stated that Mumbai continues to have a  high  usage
of public transport, yet there is a relatively  sharp  increase  in  use  of
cars in the last decade which has pushed Mumbai into a situation of  a  grid
lock.  Increasing vehicles on the roads have led to bottlenecks for  traffic
movement.  In paragraph 13 he has stated that no definite  findings  can  be
arrived at without a comprehensive study of the impact of additional FSI  in
the island city of Mumbai on traffic  density.   He  has  however,  accepted
that periodical increase in FSI would result in more construction which,  in
turn, could lead to the higher tenement density, indicating an  increase  in
traffic. In paragraph 14, he has suggested various measures to  control  the
traffic congestion.
50.         The UDRI has made various  suggestions.   Its  trustees  include
Mr. Charles Correa, an  eminent  architect  and  town  planner,  Shri  Dipak
Parekh  an  eminent  economist,  Shri  D.M.  Sukhtankar,  retired  Municipal
Commissioner and former Secretary to Government of Maharashtra  and  others.
This institute has made a detailed study of the problems of the  city.  With
respect to issue No. 2, this institute has submitted as  noted  above,  that
there should not be a blanket relaxation for the high  rise  buildings,  and
it should be examined locality-wise.  Absence of any check in  this  behalf,
has resulted into very tall buildings  with  no  open  spaces  on  extremely
narrow streets.  It is often seen that whereas the  ordinary  FSI  is  1.33,
the minimum FSI available to the schemes under DCR 33(7),  33(8)  and  33(9)
is 2.5, and  there  is  no  upper  limit.  No  assessment  is  made  of  the
sustainable carrying capacity of the  areas  in  which  these  projects  are
implemented. There is no transport impact assessment  on  the  neighbourhood
in such projects. A locality-wise approach is therefore required.
51.         In its submissions on the issues at hand, UDRI pointed out  that
whereas the total open space in Mumbai  is  3.8%,  if  we  compare  it  with
another crowded area viz. Manhattan in US, there the public open  space  for
recreation is 13.1%.  The National Building Code (of India) requires  3  sq.
mts. per capita by way of open space. However, Greater Mumbai has just  1.91
sq. mts. of open space per person, and of this less than 0.88 sq.  mts.  per
person is accessible for recreation.  Each Manhattan  resident  occupies  11
times as much floor space  as  a  Mumbai  resident.   Doubling  or  trebling
Mumbai’s FSI will only make it two or three times denser than  Manhattan  in
regard to the number of people on the ground. Consequently, the  open  space
available per person will become even less.

52.           Since the project of respondent-Kohinoor is going to be  at  a
busy road junction near Shivaji Park in the Dadar  area  of  Mumbai,  it  is
pointed out by UDRI that Dadar, Mahim, and Matunga  areas,  are  essentially
residential areas.  Various housing colonies were laid out, as per the  town
planning scheme, such as Dadar Parsi Colony and Hindu Colony etc.  In  fact,
Mr. Divan pointed out that the entire area around Shivaji Park was laid  out
systematically as per the norms, for a specified population, and it is  like
a heritage area.  Requisite provisions for gardens,  schools,  roads,  foot-
paths and play-grounds etc.,  have  been  made  for  a  certain  density  of
population.  Now with the reconstruction schemes  being  proposed,  suddenly
tall buildings are coming up even near  the  school  buildings,  and  adding
further to the density and pressure  on  the  existing  infrastructure.  The
roads having been laid out much earlier, and being in proper  proportion  to
the height of the adjoining buildings, these new tall  buildings  coming  up
in the very area  are  causing  congestion  and  greater  traffic.  This  is
affecting the life of the people around and even the school going  children,
with increased traffic and parking  on  the  roads.  The  roads  which  were
adequate at one point of time, are now  being  found  to  be  narrow.   Plot
No.46, with which we are concerned, in the present  matter,  had  a  textile
mill earlier, and now a huge commercial complex has  been  approved  on  it.
But for this construction, there were no such large commercial complexes  in
this entire area.  Earlier only those commercial activities  were  permitted
which were necessary for the use of  the  residents.  This  huge  commercial
complex is going to add tremendous pressure on the traffic in the  area  and
at an already busy junction.
Suggestions  on  issue  Nos.  3  and  4  for  consideration  when  the   new
Development Plan is drafted:-

53.         We have noted the submissions on both these issues, and what  we
find is that the exemptions from  DCR  31  (1)  for  schemes  under  Section
33(7), 33(8) and 33(9), though apparently meant for  laudable  purpose,  are
very often resulting into extreme crowding, and traffic congestion.   It  is
necessary that while granting exemptions from DCR 31(1),  there  must  be  a
scheme-wise approach, and there ought to be  a  proper  supervision  of  the
construction.  These development schemes and the additional FSI  thereunder,
should be examined locality-wise.  The impact of  such  high-rise  buildings
on the adjoining locality as well as on  the  traffic,  is  required  to  be
examined before granting such permission.
54.         In our  view,  there  is  a  need  to  restrict  the  additional
pressure on existing infrastructure so that it does not affect  the  quality
of life.  The existing social infrastructure like educational  institutions,
open spaces, hospitals etc, and physical infrastructure  like  water  supply
and drainage is already over-burdened.  Therefore,  wherever  possible,  the
State Government, the planning authority, and the committee  entrusted  with
drafting of the new  plan  should  consider  contribution  by  the  existing
occupants themselves to a good extent towards the construction cost, or  the
State should contribute through its agencies or from  the  amount  of  cess-
collected. This  will  result  into  curtailing  the  number  of  additional
entrants and will not add to the density of the  population.  This  approach
should particularly be  examined  where  the  plots  are  small  or  are  in
congested areas, and particularly where the proposal  is  under  DCR  33(7).
The new Development Plan is to be prepared shortly, and while preparing  the
plan  these  aspects  concerning   restrictions   on   blanket   exemptions,
contribution by  the  existing  occupants  to  the  reconstruction  schemes,
locality-wise consideration and impact of additional FSI on  traffic,  ought
to be gone into.   In  areas  where  the  old  town  planning  schemes  have
prescribed a uniform lay-out, one can accept some buildings going  up  to  a
certain extent, if necessary, to accommodate the  existing  occupants  in  a
reconstruction scheme.  However, it should not result  into  a  plethora  of
steeply rising buildings, to accommodate outsiders to the  building,  adding
to the population and traffic, and disturbing the existing order of the lay-
out completely.
Reconstitution of the ‘Technical Committee for High Rise Buildings’:-

55.   (i)   It has been pointed out on behalf of the  Municipal  Corporation
that subsequent to a PIL in the Bombay High Court  in  the  case  of  Tardeo
Haji  Ali  Residents  Welfare  Association,   the   State   Government   has
constituted a ‘Technical Committee for High-Rise Buildings’ (i.e.  Buildings
exceeding 70 meters in height).  As per the note submitted  by  the  learned
Senior Counsel for the Municipal Corporation, the terms of reference of  the
committee are as follows:-
           “(1)  The Committee shall be of  advisory  nature  and  it  will
                 advise the Municipal Commissioner regarding the feasibility
                 of the development proposals that might be referred  to  it
                 by the Commissioner.
           (2)   It will be open for  the  Commissioner  to  over-rule  the
                 recommendations of the Committee, after giving a proper and
                 reasonable justification in writing.  Such powers will  not
                 be delegated to any subordinate officer.
           (3)   In specific cases, if the  Chairman  desires,  any  expert
                 from other fields may be invited for  the  meeting  of  the

           The note points out
              1) The building proposals which are  to  be  referred  to  the
              2) The procedure to be followed by the committee
              3) The points to be considered by the committee, viz.,

              a) Architectural Points:-
                    1) Clear width of access available.
                    2) Location, width & No. of staircase.
                    3) Natural ventilation to staircase and common lobby.
                    4) Whether benefit of D.C. Rule 33 (24) is availed?
                    5) The minimum net plot size for High Rise  proposal  is
                       prescribed  as  1000  Sq.Mt.  and  850  Sq.Mts.   for
                       proposals under D.C. R. 33 (7).
                    6) Depth & Nos. of the basement.
                    7) Area & location of the refuge floors.
                    8) Open spaces, podiums, etc.
                    9) Two wheeler & four wheeler parking provisions in  the
                   10) Width of common lobby & ventilation.

              b) Structural and Geotechnical Points:-
                    1) Soil Report indicating soil strata, depth of the hard
                       rock, etc.
                    2) Type of  foundation  i.e.  pile  foundation  or  raft
                       foundation or open foundation.
                    3) Design Base Report (D.B.R.) for the proposal.
                    4) Various type of  tests  carried  on  site  i.e.  wind
                       tunnel test.
                    5) Gust factor & deflection.
                    6) Details of the rock  anchors,  if  any  provided  for
                    7) Details of the soil retaining methods.

              c) Environmental Points:-
                    1) Shadow Analysis.
                    2) Wind Analysis.
                    3) Heat Analysis.
                    4) Traffic Study & Traffic Management.
                    5) Ecological Study (Tree Plantation, Green area, etc.)
                    6) Disaster Management Plan.
                    7) Total Water Requirement.
                    8) Total waste water sewage generated & disposal (Design
                       of Sewerage Treatment Plant).
                    9) Effect of the construction material on environment.
                   10) Rain Water Harvesting & Storm Water Management.
                   11) Air environment in construction & operation phase.
                   12) Solid Waste Management.
                   13) Energy conservation techniques.

              d)  The point of view of the C.F.O.:-
                    1) Height of first refuge floor from  ground  floor  and
                       also height of subsequent refuge floors.
                    2) Location of refuge area.
                    3) Whether refuge area is cantilever.
                    4) Clear  open  space  along  with  turning  radius  for
                       movement of fire tender around the building.
                    5) Width & gradient of ramp (one way or two way) leading
                       to podium.
                    6)  Alternate  provision  for  fighting  the  fire  from
                    7) Driveway for fire tender movement on paved R.G.
                    8) Height of underpass in case fire tender moving  below
                    9) Podium line should be flush  with  building  line  on
                       refuge facing area.
                   10) Number of staircase and width of staircase.
                   11)  Distance  between  two  staircases,  through  common
                   12) Natural ventilation through sidewalls of basements.
                   13) Compartmentalization of the basements.

(ii)   The first committee was  appointed  by  a  Resolution  of  the  Urban
Development Department dated 28.7.2004. The  composition  of  the  Committee
has changed from time to  time.  We  are  informed  that  the  term  of  the
existing  committee,  which  is  the  third  committee,  has  expired.   The
committee consists of six members and is headed by a retired  judge  of  the
Bombay High Court, as the Chairman. It has two ex-officio  members,  namely,
the Chief Engineer (Development Plan) of  the  appellant  who  is  also  the
member secretary, and the Chief Fire Officer of  the  appellant.  There  are
three expert members. Following are the present expert members:-
           “(1) Prof R. S. Jangid, Dept of Civil Engineering,  IIT  Bombay,
           as a Structural Engineering Expert.

           (2) Prof. Abhay Bambole, Professor and Head  of  the  Structural
           Engineering Department, VJIT, Matunga, as the Soil  and  Geotech

           (3) Dr. Rakesh Kumar, Director and Gr. Scientist and Head  NEERI
           Regional Centre as the Environmental Expert.”

56.         It has been suggested that we appoint a  new  committee,  though
the State Government has expressed its willingness to  extend  the  term  of
the present committee.   Mr.  Nariman  has,  in  fact,  suggested  that  the
committee should consist of members who will play  a  pro-active  role.  Mr.
Divan submitted that it should be a Development Plan  over-sight  committee,
and it should at-least look into the grievances with respect to the  schemes
under 33(7), (8),(9), and (10).  Mr. Joaquim Reis,  learned  senior  counsel
instructing Dr. Abhishek Singhvi, learned senior counsel appearing  for  the
Property Redevelopers Association, suggested inclusion of  an  architect  in
the committee.  Considering that the architectural points  as  mentioned  in
the municipal note,  are  also  to  be  gone  into  by  the  committee,  the
suggestion is quite apt. He suggested the  inclusion  of  eminent  architect
Mr. Charles Correa, who is associated with UDRI (and  which  is  represented
by Mr. Divan).  We are, however, not including his name only for the  reason
that we are informed that he is a very busy architect, though the  committee
should certainly consult him whenever necessary.  In his place,  we  include
Shri Pankaj Joshi,  Architect,  Urban  Researcher,  and  consultant  to  the
appellant-Municipal Corporation, whose  name  is  suggested  by  Mr.  Divan.
Thus, the  assistance  of  an  architect  will  also  be  available  to  the
committee. Having taken the  consensus  of  the  counsel  appearing  in  the
matter, we are effecting one  more  change  in  the  committee.  We  appoint
Hon’ble Mr. Justice P.S. Patankar, former Judge of the  Bombay  High  Court,
to be the Chairman of the committee.
The committee will now consist of the following:-
|1)  |Chairman         |Mr. Justice P.S Patankar,     |
|    |                 |Former Judge of the High Court|
|    |                 |of Bombay                     |
|2)  |Member Secretary |Chief Engineer (Development   |
|    |                 |Plan) of Municipal Corporation|
|    |                 |of Greater Mumbai (MCGM)      |
|3)  |Member           |Prof. Department of Civil     |
|    |(Structural      |Engineering, IIT Bombay,      |
|    |Engineering      |Pawai. (presently Professor   |
|    |Expert)          |R.S Jangid or any other       |
|    |                 |professor, with the required  |
|    |                 |qualifications, nominated by  |
|    |                 |the Director IIT Pawai)       |
|4)  |Member (Soil,    |Prof and Head of the          |
|    |Mech. Geo Tech.  |Structural Engineering        |
|    |Expert)          |Department, VJTI, Matunga.    |
|    |                 |(presently Prof. Abhay Bambole|
|    |                 |or any other professor, with  |
|    |                 |the required qualifications,  |
|    |                 |nominated by the principal    |
|    |                 |VJTI)                         |
|5)  |Member           |Director Gr, Scientist and    |
|    |(Environmental   |Head NEERI regional centre    |
|    |Expert)          |(presently Dr. Rakesh Kumar)  |
|6)  |Ex-officio member|Chief Fire Officer of MCGM    |
|7)  |Member (Architect|Mr. Pankaj Joshi (Architect,  |
|    |and Urban        |Urban Researcher,  and        |
|    |Researcher)      |Consultant to the MCGM)       |

The additional terms of reference for the Committee:-
57.   (i)   As of now, all new building proposals where the  height  of  the
building exceeds 70 meters is referred to the  committee.   A  scrutiny  fee
for Rs 50,000 per proposal is collected at the time  of  submission  of  the
proposal. We have already referred to the existing terms of  reference.   In
view of the discussion in this matter, in our view,  it  is  desirable  that
the committee be requested to look into two additional aspects which are  as
(ii)  The  committee  will  also  look   into   the   grievances   regarding
construction and technical requirements of  the  development  schemes  under
DCR 33(7), 33(8), 33(9) and 33(10), whenever brought to the  notice  of  the
committee by concerned persons.
(iii)  The  committee  may  as  well  make  recommendations  to  the   State
Government  with  respect  to  the  new  Development  Plan  which  is  under
58.   (i)   The committee will have to spend good time for  this  work.  The
honorarium paid to the chairman is presently fixed at Rs. 15000  per  month,
and it was fixed much earlier.  Now we are widening the terms of  reference.
Therefore, we direct that the appellant-Municipal Corporation  will  pay  an
honorarium of Rs. 50,000/- per month to the  Chairman.   The  other  members
will be provided with the  conveyance  charges  and  attendance  charges  to
attend the meetings and for site inspections, as per  the  municipal  rules.
The Municipal Corporation will make available an  appropriate  room  in  its
headquarters and secretarial staff for the working of the committee.
(ii) The State Government shall issue necessary notification  reconstituting
the  committee,  its  terms  of  reference,  and  other  aspects,  such   as
honorarium etc, within four weeks hereafter.
59.         Before we conclude, we  record  our  appreciation  for  all  the
learned  counsel  who  have  assisted  us  in  deciding  the   issues,   and
particularly Senior Counsel Mr. Nariman and Mr. Salve, who appeared for  the
respondents and appellants respectively, at the stage of the  earlier  order
which was passed on 25.7.2013, but assisted the Court in deciding  the  four
In the circumstances we pass the following order:-
60.   (1) The memorandum  of  settlement  dated  18.4.2013,  concerning  the
Public  Parking  Lot  (PPL)  arrived  at  between  the   appellant-Municipal
Corporation of Greater Mumbai and the respondents was taken  on  record,  as
noted in Part-I order dated 25.7.2013, in the  facts  and  circumstances  of
the present case. Both the parties shall act  strictly  in  accordance  with
the same.  It is clarified that as held in the  said  order,  the  Municipal
circular dated 22.6.2011 is not in any way held to be bad in law.
(2)   The four additional issues framed in Part-II of the  above  order  are
decided as follows:-
Issue No. (i) –        The minimum recreational space  as  laid  down  under
Development Control Regulation (DCR) 23, cannot be reduced on the  basis  of
DCR 38(34).  The recreational space, if any, provided on the podium  as  per
DCR 38(34)(iv), shall be in addition to that provided as per DCR 23.
Issue Nos. (ii) & (iii) – The Government  of  Maharashtra,  the  Development
Plan Drafting  Committee,  and  the  appellant-Municipal  Corporation  shall
consider the suggestions as contained in  paragraph  Nos.53  and  54  above,
while framing the Development Plan for Greater Mumbai.
Issue No. (iv) – The second  proviso  to  DCR  43(1)  (A),  concerning  fire
protection requirements, is held to be bad in law.  We hold  that  even  for
the reconstruction proposals of plots upto the size of 600  sq.  mts.  under
DCR 33(7), open space of the width of 6 meters  at  least  on  one  side  at
ground level within the plot, accessible from the road side will have to  be
maintained for the maneuverability of a fire  engine,  unless  the  building
abuts two roads of 6 meters or more on two sides, or  another  access  of  6
meters to the building is  available,  apart  from  the  road  abutting  the
(3)   The decision as contained in Clauses 2(i) and 2(iv) above, will  apply
to those constructions where plans are still  not  approved,  or  where  the
Commencement Certificate (CC) has not  yet  been  issued.   All  authorities
concerned are directed to ensure strict compliance accordingly.
(4)   The Government of Maharashtra shall issue the  necessary  notification
within four weeks of this order, re-constituting  the  ‘Technical  Committee
for the High-Rise Buildings’, as directed in  paragraph  56,  including  the
additional terms of reference, as  mentioned  in  paragraph  57  above.  The
appellant  is  directed  to  render  assistance  and  provide  the  required
honorarium, as mentioned in paragraph 58 above.
(5)   In view of the settlement arrived at between the parties, as  well  as
Part-I  order  dated  25.7.2013  mentioned  in  paragraph   (1),   and   the
determination on the four additional issues as in paragraph  (2)  above,  no
further order is required on this appeal, and  the  appeal  stands  disposed
off accordingly.
(6)   The parties will bear their own costs.

                                                  [ H.L. Gokhale  ]

                                [ J. Chelameswar ]

New Delhi
Dated: December 17, 2013


No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.