Recent revisions to the Development Control Rules (DCR) seem to have brought the Slum Rehabilitation schemes to a near-halt. The Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA), which used to receive at least 10 proposals each month to revamp slums, has not received a single proposal in the past two months.
To add to it, the SRA has sent back 10 old proposals and has asked the builders to submit fresh plans. “Developers are getting used to the revised DCR and hence are redrawing their plans,” said SS Zende, chief executive officer, SRA. The new DCR, approved in early January, put a cap on incentive Floor Space Index - with residential ones getting 35% and commercial ones getting 20%. Developers who tweaked rules to develop additional area have been reined in, as they now have to pay a premium for the incentive.
Babulal Verma, chairman and managing director, Omkar Realtors, concedes that things have indeed slowed down. “Since this is conversion period, we have to prepare new plans. We are all studying the viability of our projects,” said Verma. Currently, the premium is exempted for buildings housing slum-dwellers, but exists for flats that are sold by the builder to compensate his project.
According to Maharashtra Chambers of Housing Industry (MCHI), the problem is of lack of clarity. “Things are shaky at the moment. We hope the situation will improve in the coming days,” said Paras Gundecha, president, MCHI.
Introduced in 1996, the slum rehabilitation scheme aimed to rid the city of slums and provide decent accommodation to slum-dwellers. However, it has been a slow starter with only 1.53 lakh slum-dwellers having moved to new dwellings in 16 years, even as 2.15 lakh new houses are under construction.