After the state government recently ushered in the Cluster Redevelopment Scheme in Thane, there is growing chorus that the scheme should be extended to the suburbs of Mumbai.
Currently, this scheme is applicable only to the island city of Mumbai — Colaba to Mahim and Sion.
According to the Maharashtra Societies Welfare Association (MSWA), there are a large number of old buildings constructed on smaller plots even in the suburbs, where a revamp is almost impossible. “There should be no discrimination and even the suburbs should benefit from the scheme,” said Ramesh Prabhu, chairman, MSWA.
The cluster revamp scheme was introduced to ensure planned development. Here, incentives were given to larger plots on the plea that such measures would upgrade infrastructure and also provide affordable houses to people.
Vile Parle legislator Parag Alavani said cluster revamp will boost projects that have been stuck owing to height restrictions because they come in the airport funnel zone or in the vicinity the Defence establishments. “If several societies come together, only they can they get revamped. Here, cluster will play a vital role,” said Alavani.
After initial hesitation, former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan had approved the cluster scheme even in the suburbs. But it was stayed by the court, which wanted the state government to first undertake an infrastructure assessment. Ravindra Waikar, minister of state for housing, voiced support for the extension of the scheme to the suburbs. “It will boost the revamp process,” he said.