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. m. The move is aimed at increasing green cover in the city.
Soon the BMC will hold discussions with builders’ associations such as the Maharashtra Chamber of Housing Industry (MCHI), and National Real Estate Development Council. The draft policy by the Gardens Department recommends making it compulsory 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 draft policy states that the stability of the structure should not be compromised nor should the waterproofing suffer. The rooftop gardening should be made with an irrigation facility. “While approving plans for the 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.
BMC trees and garden superintendent Jitendra Pardeshi told Afternoon Voice, “The land shortage causes lack of greenery in Mumbai among residential areas, it just looks like concrete jungles. This policy will help in the cumulative green cover which is facing hurdles due to land shortage. Within the framework of Development Control Regulations (DCR), the development plan department should see the viability of making it mandatory to provide podium gardens for big projects. 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.”
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.