The Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) has formed a committee to push 450 projects, which have been stuck for years.
The projects, involving over 1.5 lakh families, have been stuck in initial stages due to reasons like failure to garner the support of a majority of slum dwellers, problems regarding their eligibility, withdrawal of appointed developers and legal issues.
S. S. Zende, chief executive officer (CEO), SRA said the committee’s aim would be to tackle the problems and facilitate redevelopment. “Our officials will hold meetings with office bearers of slum committees and convince them to take part in the scheme,” said Zende. “They will also try to solve contentious issues if any and offer all the possible help.”
The committee will comprise the ward officer, deputy collector (encroachment) and joint CEO (Mhada).
From the time of its inception in 1997, the SRA has shown tardy progress with just 1.2 lakh houses built till date—an annual average of 10,000 homes. Currently, 2.5 lakh houses are being constructed across the city under the scheme. The body has also been plagued by allegations of corruption.
Pankaj Kapoor, chief executive officer of Liases Foras, a leading real estate firm, said expediting the slum clearance programme is the need of the hour. “Any growth in the city is not possible without taking care of the slums,” said Kapoor. He said that slums occupy 30 sq km of area and are a major factor for the derailment of various infrastructure projects.
Everest Developers, which has three slum rehabilitation projects and is currently constructing approximately 2,000 tenements at Wadala and Ghatkopar said the committee will understand ground realties. “Many projects are pending due to technical problems,” said J S Augustine, associate director, Everest Developers, hoping that with the intervention of the committee many pending projects will be executed.