“We want to send out a signal to these builders. There must undertake work on the scheme, or we will cancel their permissions,” said a senior SRA official, requesting anonymity. “We will not allow builders to leave slumdwellers hanging.”
The SRA will also call the defaulting builders in for a hearing and then decide on a further course of action.
Since the scheme was started 17 years ago, its record has been less than satisfactory, with just 24% of projects being completed. Only 597 of the 2,395 ventures have been executed, allowing 1.53 lakh slumdwellers to shift into their new homes. About 3 lakh units are currently being constructed.
Reputed builders welcomed the SRA initiative, saying it was the need of the hour. “These errant parties are not builder, but traders and brokers who joined the scheme to make a quick buck. They do not have the financial capability to undertaken such a project and are simply blocking the initiative,” said Babulal Verma, managing director, Omkar Realtors and Developers, which is undertaking the city’s largest slum clearance project spread across 25 acres at Bhoiwada.
Housing activists lauded the move. “There should be more stringent checks within a shorter time span to ensure that slum clearance schemes take off more quickly,” said Anil Mishra, an activist.