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News

Lifts in Mumbai buildings can now go up to rooftops: Terrace eateries to benefit most

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Less than a month after approving rooftop or open air restaurants, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has given its nod to a proposal to allow lift shafts to go right up to a building’s roof. While the decision includes residential as well commercial buildings, both old and new, the move is seen as one that is likely to benefit restaurants on terraces/rooftops of commercial buildings more than residential buildings. After being in cold storage for over three years, the policy on allowing rooftop or open-air restaurants in the city was approved by the civic body on November 1.

The move came as a relief to restaurants waiting to set up eateries on their terraces, but the civic body never approved any building plan with a lift shaft that goes up to the common terrace. This meant customers coming to these rooftop restaurants had to take the staircase from the top floor of the building to the terrace. The change in the policy will now allow accessibility of common terrace by lift.

The civic body claims that terraces can be used as recreational open spaces and having lifts up to terraces can ensure easy accessibility. Further, justifying the move, a senior BMC official said, “It is a known fact that Mumbai has a dearth of recreational open spaces. Terraces as specified under DCPR 2034 can be used as an additional recreational area. However, in the absence of a lift reaching up to the terrace, people, especially the elderly and differently abled people can be inconvenienced. A lift will help easy accessibility.”

The official added this change in the policy had been demanded from time to time by housing societies, owners of commercial buildings as well as developers. “The decision has been taken in the larger interest of people and will be beneficial to many societies and its residents,” he said.

As per the policy, the area of the lift well for additional floor height of the lift well opening leading to the terrace level may be given free Floor Space Index (FSI) with special permission of the BMC commissioner on the payment of a premium. FSI is a development tool that defines the extent of construction permissible on a plot. It is the ratio of the built-up area of a plot to the plot’s area. In case of the area having restrictions, such as civil aviation etc, the height including the lift machine room shall be considered.

Meanwhile, in case of existing or old buildings, prior certification regarding structural stability of the building shall have to be submitted by the society/owner. Also, precaution towards safety and security shall have to ensured by the society/holder of the premises where the lift well opening is proposed on the terrace above the top floor.

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