Hardeep Singh Puri – Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs called for review of FSI and FAR norms in mega cities to ensure better utilization of scarce urban land resources in context of rapid urbanization. He addressed senior officials from different states and chief executives of Metro Rail Corporations from across the country at a National Dissemination Workshop on New Metro Rail Policy. He released the new policy which was approved by the Union Cabinet last month. Puri referred the NITI Ayog recommendation for relaxation of Floor Space Index (FSI) and Floor Area Ratio (FAR) norms in urban areas to give a push to urban development and asked the Ministry officials to take up a time bound review of these norms in all 53 cities which have a population of one million and above. He also suggested a similar review in due course for State Capitals with less than million population. The review to be taken up in consultation with States and cities will cover an assessment of the existing norms and the extent to which it could be enhanced. The Minister also directed to identify short and long term interventions to be taken up in respect of improving infrastructure pertaining to ensuring water supply and sewerage systems, road spaces etc.
Puri stressed on the need for integrated land use and transport planning with an aim to promote compact and dense urban development to minimize the use of personal motorized transport. He further noted that compact, dense and vertical urban densification is beneficial to the citizens given the rising demand for urban spaces and urban mass transit systems being developed and proposed to be developed. Expressing concern over the crisis like situation with reference to urban mobility, Puri urged all the States to set up Unified Metropolitan Transport Authorities in all the 53 cities with over million population each to ensure integration among all modes of transport on a regional basis.Referring to the wave of additional vehicles hitting the roads, Puri noted that there were 825 million cars in the world in 2010 and the same is expected to rise to 1,600 million in 2035 and to 2,100 million in 2050 which has the potential of bringing cities to a grinding halt.