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Rs 50,000 cr earmarked for Mumbai's housing policy

The new housing policy promises a sea change in the lifestyle of the average Mumbaikar, reports Madhurima Nandy .

india Updated: Oct 31, 2006 22:21 IST

The draft housing policy which will be unveiled by Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh on Wednesday, promises a sea change in the way the living conditions of the average Mumbaikar.

Vice president and CEO of the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada) says that the policy will being about "phenomenal changes in the housing scene in Mumbai."

"A whopping Rs 50,000 crores have been earmarked for the redevelopment of 16,000 cessed buildings. This means that around 70 per cent of south Mumbai will be redeveloped in the process," said Chahal.

A public-private participation approach will be adopted in redeveloping buildings wherein Mhada will be the nodal agency. According to estimates, there arefive lakh people living in the cessed buildings in the city and the government's priority is to rehabilitate then along with redeveloping these buildings.

Mhada will also be building 10 lakh affordable houses in Maharashtra in the next few years.

The policy also says that henceforth, all the slum pockets in Mumbai will be developed along the lines of the Dharavi redevelopment project.

This means that tenders will be invited for the redevelopment of each slum and a process of open, transparent bidding will be followed.

This also means, that the government would get to earn some extra revenue from the process.

Currently, there are 8 lakh slum structures in Mumbai alone where are approximately 12 lakh families (65 lakh people) live.

According to senior officials in the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) this will being about a huge change in the entire dynamics of how a slum pocket is given away to a private developer for redevelopment.

"The entire builders' mafia and its nexus with the slum lords will hopefully be broken and the process of redeveloping a slum will be faster and smoother and there will be less politics in the system.

"All this while, the developer didn't have much interest in the schemes and it was like a battle between various parties over developing a slum," said a senior SRA official.

As regards the open land in the city, the focus will be to develop integrated townships wherein the developer would have to construct houses and provide the infrastructure as well.

This is a conscious decision to discourage single building development and facilitate townships.

The draft policy also states that there will be a number of high density pockets across the city which will be exclusively earmarked for the economically weaker sections.

"These pockets will have tenements measuring 180-300 sq ft and there will be a ceiling on the price and it will be ensured that the properties are sold only the economically poor," said developer Pujit Agarwal, who is a part of the Task Force.

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First Published: Oct 31, 2006 22:21 IST