To ensure Mumbai gets affordable housing units and malpractices by developers are curbed, the Maharashtra state housing policy has proposed imprisonment and fine as punishment.
According to the proposal, a developer or an occupant found joining smaller flats could be imprisoned for three years and fined 40% of the ready reckoner rate. The policy also contemplates amendment in the MRTP Act for stricter punishment for unauthorised and informal housing in urban areas.
The draft policy promises the formation of a housing regulator within three months of the announcement of the final policy. The department has framed the rules, which need to be vetted. Once notified, the authority will have an autonomous tribunal under an officer of the rank of principal secretary. “This will be rolled out in the next couple of months,” said an officer from the department.
Under the policy, which is expected to be released by month end, the government has decided to allow the developer to mortgage the land being redeveloped under the slum rehabilitation scheme, cluster redevelopment scheme or redevelopment of Mhada colonies. This will help developers raise funds from the open market. The officers from the housing department are wary of the misuse of such funds.
To avoid the recurrence of the amnesty schemes introduced for Dombivli and Ulhasnagar for the regularisation of illegal housing in the MMR, the draft has clarified that no illegal constructions will be entertained in peri-urban areas up to 20 kms from the outer boundary of BMC and 15 kms for smaller municipal corporations.
There will be no further regularisation of the irregular housing and the necessary amendments would be issued shortly.
The policy has assured the strengthening of the existing machinery to curtail unauthorised structures. The government is also contemplating making it obligatory for all the cooperative housing societies to create depreciation fund.
Similarly, the collection of the development charges under section 124 of MRTP Act from the new building proposals, will be utilised for the new infrastructure. The urban local bodies, however, are duty bound to publish utilisation of the fund annually.