In a serious bid to fast-track the development of slum rehabilitation projects in Mumbai in view of the impending BMC elections, the Maha Vikas Aghadi government will soon come out with a comprehensive policy proposing multiple options for completion. This was decided at the meeting chaired by the Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray who took an extensive review of the present status of slum rehabilitation projects on both the state and the Central government lands. There are about 380 slum rehabilitation projects in the city which are stuck due for various reasons, including financial ones.
Housing Minister Jitendra Awhad told The Free Press Journal, “We are planning to bring out the best policy before Diwali to speed up the development of slum rehabilitation projects. The policy will be a game changer and will benefit the slum dwellers.”
At Wednesday’s meeting it was decided that the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) would appoint developers through a tendering process for the completion of projects that were stuck. It would be binding on new developers to regularly pay rent to the slum dwellers and rehabilitate them in a time-bound manner. The slum dwellers’ permission would not be needed for the appointment of a new developer.
The SRA would appoint a developer, whose bid would propose to hand over the maximum floor space index from the sale component in the affordable homes category.
Further, Thackeray also gave approval for the completion of these stuck projects through a joint venture between the SRA and the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA). The SRA and the MHADA will form a special purpose vehicle for the completion of such projects. The MHADA will complete the construction of the rehabilitation and sale components while the MHADA will meet the construction expenses through the sale of affordable homes being developed under the sale component.
The SRA will make arrangements for the rent payment and transit camps for the slum dwellers and will recover the necessary expenses from MHADA.
In order to enable the developer to raise funds from financial institutions, government landholders would be converted into ‘C’, which means Class 1.
Moreover, the SRA would introduce an amnesty scheme and allow financial institutions (FIs) approved by the Reserve Bank of India and the Securities Exchange Board of India to complete rehabilitation projects in a limbo. In case of FIs that have already provided funds for the implementation of slum rehabilitation projects, they will be notified as joint developers.
The RBI- and SEBI-approved FIs will be exempted from the payment of 5 per cent premium. The SRA, under the amnesty scheme through advertisements in leading newspapers, will invite applications from the FIs, which will have to submit these in 45 days to take up stalled projects.
STATUS OF 380 STALLED PROJECTS
*230 stalled due to financial issues
*59 stalled for lack of rent payment to slumdwellers
*33 stalled due to internal disputes, delays in implementation
*11 stalled due to court cases
*47 stalled by delay in getting no-objection certificate from various departments