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Homes for slumdwellers living on reserved plots

mumbai Updated: Oct 29, 2010 01:35 IST
Naresh Kamath
Naresh Kamath
Hindustan Times
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Slumdwellers living on reserved (government, civic) plots across the city will be rehabilitated by the state government, in a joint venture between the Maharashtra Housing and Development Authority (Mhada) and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

The Central government’s BSUP (Basic Services for Urban Poor) scheme will support the venture. The decision was made after it was found that builders were not rehabilitating these slum dwellers as they had a high density of population.

The plots that the slums have encroached upon, because of the civic body’s negligence, are those reserved for playgrounds, recreation grounds, schools and other public amenities.

Speaking to Hindustan Times, Sachin Ahir, state minister for housing, said BSUP, which has had great success in clearing slums across the state, would be introduced in the city.

“The advantage of the scheme is that most encroached reserved plots would be freed and slum dwellers will move to decent dwellings,” Ahir said. Also, unlike other slum rehabilitation projects, where houses are given free of cost, here slum dwellers have to contribute 10% of the total cost of their tenements. The first project is likely to be finalised for either Dhobi Ghat in Mahalaxmi or the Andheri slums.

“Another advantage of the BSUP scheme is that it has no cut-off date and all slum dwellers get new apartments,” he added.

BSUP projects are restricted to rehabilitating slum dwellers, and unlike the slum rehabilitation projects, no new dwellings are added.

Social activist Simpreet Singh, of Ghar Banao Ghar Bachao Andolan, called it a good model of housing. “Here there is no profiteering and slumdwellers pay for their houses,” said Singh. The organisation has submitted a proposal for the revamp of a slum at Mankhurd under BSUP.

The BSUP was introduced in December 2005 to provide a holistic slum revamp project, which includes decent shelter and basic infrastructure facilities to slum dwellers.

Here 50% of the cost is borne by the Centre, 30% by the state, 10% by the BMC and the balance 10% by the slum dweller.

The BSUP scheme has been implemented in places like Pimpri-Chinchwad (4,930 houses), Pune (6,000) and Nanded (26,360) and has been a success.