Maharashtra scraps Pune SRA provision which made multi-storey slums eligible for rehabilitation
The state government had put in the provision when it finalised SRA rules in Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad on September 11, 2014Updated: Aug 16, 2017 00:39 IST
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Maharashtra government has scrapped a provision that allowed the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) in Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad to consider multi-storey slums for rehabilitation, fearing it may give rise to similar demands in other cities.
The state government had put in the provision when it finalised SRA rules in Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad on September 11, 2014, on the last days of the erstwhile Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) regime.
Last week, the state urban development department issued a notification to change the definition of a slum structure in the SRA regulations in Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad, to do away with the provision and bring them on a par with other cities.
The department said the existing definition allowed the SRA in the two cities to consider more than one-storey slums, with a separate entrance, for free rehabilitation. It said it was not in consonance with the Maharashtra Slum Areas (Improvement, Clearance and Redevelopment) Act, 1971.
The rules for slum rehabilitation in all other cities, including Mumbai, define a slum structure as per the Maharashtra Slum Areas Act and do not allow multiple storeys to be considered as different slum structures eligible for rehabilitation.
A senior official from the state urban development department said, “The rules have to be consistent with the Slum Act. For all other cities, including Mumbai and Thane, the definition is consistent. The definition of a slum structure as per the Pune SRA rules was an anomaly, and there was a concern that it might lead to similar demands elsewhere. The state housing department noticed the anomaly last year and proposed the change.”
Earlier, the definition of a slum structure for Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad, as per the rules, was a hutment structure on any floor with a separate unit having a separate entrance. The urban development department official said this was a wide and open-ended definition, giving a window for free rehabilitation to families living in multi-storey houses in a slum.
The Slum Areas Act defines it as a structure rooted to the ground.
Slum redevelopment is a politically sensitive issue with constant demands to push the eligibility limits for free rehabilitation, especially in Mumbai where 55 per cent of the population lives in slums. There have also been intermittent demands to consider more than one storey and mezzanine floors for rehabilitation.
First Published: Aug 16, 2017 00:39 IST