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HindustanTimes Fri,24 Oct 2014

SRA wants more clarity on coastal zone rule

Naresh Kamath, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, February 01, 2013
First Published: 01:47 IST(1/2/2013) | Last Updated: 01:48 IST(1/2/2013)

With more than 150 slum rehabilitation projects in the coastal regulation zone (CRZ) stuck over the lack of clarity in the amended notification, the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) has now decided to seek government intervention to expedite work.

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The CRZ notification of 2011 had allowed an FSI of four for redevelopment of slums in coastal areas, on condition that the state government would hold a minimum stake of 51 per cent in such projects. Two years later, the state government is still deliberating on the plan for redevelopment under the scheme.

There are approximately 80 large and 300 small slum pockets in the coastal area between Cuffe Parade and Dahisar. The new CRZ notification has opened up these areas for redevelopment.

According to senior SRA officials, builders are reluctant to start projects, as they don't know how they can become partners with the state government. "In our informal meeting last week, builders said they were waiting for the new rules to get some direction," said an official.

He added that the SRA has written to the state on this issue.

State minister for housing Sachin Ahir said that the government is trying to work out an option to make the redevelopment projects viable. "We are working on aspects such as sharing the responsibility," he said. Ahir has also called for a joint meeting of the housing and environment ministry on Friday to work out the modalities.

Builders, however, are skeptical. "We have to provide houses to slumdwellers and also pay a huge premium. There is no way we can survive if we give a major part of our share to the government," said Paras Gundecha, president, Maharashtra Chambers of Housing Industry (MCHI), the apex body of builders.


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