Fifteen years after it was first mooted, the slum rehabilitation scheme is all set to witness large scale reforms with the state government framing various rules to boost the scheme.
Major changes include the easing of eligibility rules so that slumdwellers who have purchased slums after 1995 can be made eligible for rehabilitation.
Sachin Ahir, state minister for housing, said the changes aim to increase benefits for slumdwellers and to ensure more benefit from the scheme. “Eligibility is a major issue which we are addressing,” added Ahir.
The current rules have delayed projects for years as they mandated both the structure as well the slumdweller to be present at the place from before 1995. Those who purchased houses after 1995 were deemed ineligible and they were the vocal opponents of the slum clearance schemes.
The changes will also legalise the sales of houses of slumdwellers who have resided at a place for a decade. The current rules prohibit sales or renting of new houses for 10 years, but says nothing about transfers after the lapse of the decade.
“We want to ease the sales,” said Ahir. Slum rehabilitation authority (SRA) officials say the sales process should be left to the slumdwellers.
Other major changes include increase in the corpus fund, providing rehabilitated tenants with identity cards, and seizure of houses if they violate the rules.
Currently, the builder has to give Rs20,000 as corpus fund per slumdweller to help him to maintain the new structure which the state feels is low.
Builders have welcomed the reforms saying it is the need of the hour.
“These would help to certain extent but more steps should be done so that efficient builders can enter the market. This would help in providing good amenities to the slumdwellers and also create a good housing stock,” said Sunil Mantri, chairman, real estate committee (Indian Merchants Chamber).