The Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) is seeking relaxation of eligibility norms for slumdwellers.
In a letter written to the state government, SS Zende, chief executive officer, SRA, has pushed to have the current cut-off date of January 1, 1995, restricted for the structure and not for slumdwellers.
The reason — in the past 16 years, many original tenants have sold their tenements and the new residents are not eligible for brand new homes.
“Transfers of flats or slums is natural phenomenon and it has taken place in the past 16 years,” said Zende. He said that whole aim was to ensure a slum-free city.
Talking to the Hindustan Times, Sachin Ahir, minister of state for housing, said they were positive on this issue. “We are studying various legal and technical issues on this matter,” said Ahir. “I have asked for opinion on how this could be expedited.”
Eligibility has been a major headache for builders as many of the non-eligible residents start to oppose the project.
“The most vocal opponents of my project have been the non-eligible residents and it takes years to evict them from their dwellings,” said Ramakant Jadhav, director, Shivalik Ventures.
The company is undertaking the revamp of a 30-acre slum at Golibar Nagar in Santacruz and claims that 20% of the residents are not eligible to get homes.
Since its inception, the SRA scheme has had a dismal record of rehabilitating a meagre 1.20 lakh slumdwellers, while the slums in the city limits and its neighbouring areas total to 15 lakh.
Zende has suggested norms like new tenants should have a 10-year domicile certificate of the state and the transfer fee should be levied on the new owner.
Another condition is that the tenant should be living in the slum.
However, this proposal is bound to encounter opposition. The Bombay high court in 2006 had struck down the state’s order to extend the cut-off date for slums in the city to 2000 from the current 1995 citing inadequate infrastructure to manage it.
The state had appealed against the order and the case is not being heard in the Supreme Court.