Corp To Let ‘total’ Construction In Risk Zones Prone To Flooding, ET RealEstate

March 29, 2024

KOCHI: In a major shift in development policy, Kochi corporation and town planning department plan to waive off restriction on real estate construction in 140 risk zones that are prone to future flooding.

Kochi corporation master plan, that has been approved by town planning department, envisages giving approval for total construction in the areas instead of the 50% approved earlier.

Authorities say in order to avoid flooding, as per the improvised plan, houses constructed in such risk zones need to have 0.7m-1.5m stilt (piles) as the base of the structure. The master plan has not yet been approved by state govt.

The revised plan states that structures to be constructed in risk zones will be allowed in 100% of the floor area ratio (FAR) or the maximum area of construction allowed in a certain plot as per Kerala Municipal Building Rules (KMBR). In contrast, as per the final draft of master plan that was published by town planning department, only 50% of FAR was to be allowed in these risk zones.

This may sound good news for real estate developers but experts point out that it will also increase risk of flooding in these areas. Corporation area has been witnessing flooding in the past few years due to unplanned development.

The 140 risk zones were identified based on inputs from disaster management experts. Then, norms reducing FAR by 50% in such risk zones were incorporated in the final draft of the master plan. “Given the specific features of Kochi’s geography, many places already come under restricted development area. Introducing new curbs in the master plan will be another jolt for those constructing house. Many of the councillors in Kochi corporation gave this suggestion during a hearing prior to local body’s council approving the master plan. Builders also demanded the same,” an official associated with preparation of the master plan said.“Construction of basement will not be allowed in risk zones. Moreover, using pavement tiles will not be allowed in at least 50% of the balance land on the plot. This is to allow rainwater to be absorbed into the ground,” said a source associated with the master plan preparation.

Experts said change in the master plan will increase the risk of flooding. “There is an absence of land management policy with respect to disaster preparedness in the master plan. In the light of the 2018 and 2019 floods, it is evident that violation of CRZ rules and loss of wetlands have cost us dearly. Water holding capacity of our coastal region has been reduced considerably in the past two decades,” said architect and urban planner Biley Menon.

“The master plan does not have a detailed plan for wetland protection. So, it is unable to justify a random identification of risk zones. This lack of clarity needs to be addressed first. Master plan is expected to have a scientific approach for city drainage, estuarial hydraulics and disaster mitigation,” Menon, who is the national vice-president of Institute of Urban Designers of India, said.

  • Published On Mar 29, 2024 at 12:00 PM IST

Join the community of 2M+ industry professionals

Subscribe to our newsletter to get latest insights & analysis.

Download ETRealty App

  • Get Realtime updates
  • Save your favourite articles

Scan to download App

Source link

Abhay Singh

Web Developer