To expedite the slum clearance scheme, the state government will revive its Shivshahi Punarvasan Prakalpa Limited (SPPL) to redevelop slums neglected by private builders.
Builders often neglect slums with thick population density because they find such projects time-consuming, making them unviable.
“The SPPL will be made active and funded by the state so that neglected slums can be revamped,” said Sachin Ahir, minister of state for housing.
He said the state cannot afford to just rely on private developers and had to step in.
The SPPL will now take the role of the builder and rehabilitate slumdwellers, create substantial housing stock for the project-affected people and also auction any surplus flats, if any.
In addition, all slum projects falling in the restricted Coastal Regulation Zone are expected to have SPPL as the major partner with the private builder. Here, the SPPL will hold a 51 per cent majority stake in the project as mandated by the Central government.
The SPPL was set up by the Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party alliance government in 1998 to redevelop slums with funding by reluctant government agencies such as the state housing board.
However, the scheme failed.
In 2001, former municipal commissioner SS Tinaikar, in his inquiry report, indicted the SPPL for its failure and said the entire scheme was designed to benefit the builder lobby, which forced the successive Congress-Nationalist Congress Party government to curtail its activities.
“We will rectify the mistakes and strengthen the role of SPPL,” said Ahir.