THE BRIHANMUMBAI Municipal Corporation (BMC) is planning to make terrace gardens mandatory for all new buildings having a plot size of more than 2000 sq mts. The move is part of a bid to increase green cover in the city for which the BMC’s Gardens Department has proposed changes in the city’s Development Plan for rooftop gardens.
Officials said the civic body will also hold consultation with builders associations such as Maharashtra Chamber of Housing Industry (MCHI), and National Real Estate Development Council. The draft policy by the Gardens Department proposes to make it mandatory for every builder/developer to do vertical gardens at least on the main road-facing sides during construction to reduce air and noise pollution.
“The policy will help Mumbai in increasing its green cover which is facing hurdles due to land scarcity. Within the framework of Development Control Regulations (DCR), the development plan department should see the feasibility of making it mandatory to provide podium gardens for big projects [more than 2000 sq metres]. Some native tree varieties having shallow root system or medium size canopy can be planted at podium level for increasing green cover ensuring structure stability too,” BMC trees and garden superintendent Jitendra Pardeshi said.
The draft policy states that the stability of the structure should not be compromised nor should the water proofing suffer. The rooftop gardening should be made with an irrigation facility.
“While approving plans for construction of buildings or such structures, care should be taken that sufficient earthen/soil space should be left for proper growth of big Trees. Also if possible permeable Tiles should be made compulsory at ground level for percolation of water,” it reads.
The Idea of making rooftop gardening compulsory was first proposed by former mayor Dr Shubha Raul in 2019. Following her demand, then Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta had assured that such rules will be incorporated in DCR.