Crackdown on 3 big slum revamp projects on Fadnavis’s directions

  • Naresh Kamath, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Dec 06, 2014 22:23 IST

The Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) has decided to issue show cause notices to three big slum redevelopment projects in Mumbai on the directions of chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.

The projects, located in Kandivli, Sion and Chembur, were cleared by the former Congress-NCP government between 2008 and 2010, under the controversial 3K rule, which was stayed by former CM Prithviraj Chavan when he took over.

Under section 3K of the Slum Act, a builder who is the first claimant on a slum land gets the right to redevelop it. The provision of acquiring the mandatory 70% consent of slum dwellers in the initial stages is waived off in this rule.

In addition, the credentials of the builders are not scrutinised, while allotting the land. As the rule does not include a tendering process or allowing competing builders to take part in the bidding process, it has faced much criticism.

According to SRA, there has been no progress on the projects at Kandivli, Sion and Chembur.

“As there has been no progress on the projects, I have asked the SRA to issue show cause notices to them,” said Fadnavis.

The three beneficiaries were Ackruti (now Hubtown), which was awarded the Sion project spread across 64 acres, of which a major portion comprises salt pan land; Sterling Buildcon Private Limited, which has the Chembur project of 46.90 acres; and Ruchipriya Developers, which got the 112-acres Hanuman Nagar land at Kandivli.

“We cannot wait indefinitely for the developers to start the project. We will now issue a show cause notice, asking why their allotment should not be cancelled,” said Nirmalkumar Deshmukh, CEO, SRA.

However, Vimal Shah, managing director, Hubtown, said he is not aware of any such proposal.

“I am not aware of the issue and hence do not wish to comment,” said Shah.

Despite repeated attempts, the other two developers could not be reached for comments.

The only 3K project that has seen any progress is the 125-acre Golibar Project at Santacruz, which is being undertaken by Shivalik Ventures.

Social activists have described the 3K projects as just another land grab.

“The government should ideally float tenders and then allot the land. This will ensure both accountability and also add revenue to the government’s exchequer,” said Simpreet Singh, activist, Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao movement.

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