MumbaiIn a boost to several co-operative housing societies across Maharashtra, which intend to go for redevelopment, the Maharashtra government on Thursday brought down the consent required for redevelopment of housing societies from 70% to 51%.The cooperation department of the state government issued a government resolution (GR), laying down the procedures to be followed for redevelopment projects.“The decision about going for redevelopment and its modalities should be agreed by not less than 51% of the society members,” the GR stated. The GR stated that no approval, vote or opinion of an absent member will be taken into account during a vote on redevelopment project.According to estimates, there are around one lakh registered housing societies in Maharashtra. Of that, around 60,000 societies are located in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Thane and Palghar. The decision is expected to benefit a chunk of societies in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR). For years, obtaining or securing consent was one of the biggest hurdles for societies in going ahead with redevelopment as a minority of opposing members used to derail the whole project. The builders pleaded with the government that 70 % was an unrealistic figure, which only delayed or derailed the project. According to a senior department official, the decision is part of the government’s policy to make the consent uniform for all types of redevelopment. “The government has received representation from builders and housing societies that many processes are stalled owing to the issue of consent. The idea was that if the majority votes in favour of the project, then it should not be stuck due to a minority. The government has taken such a stand for slum redevelopment and smaller housing societies earlier,” the official said, requesting anonymity.Ramesh Prabhu, chairman of the Maharashtra Societies Welfare Association (MSWA), welcomed the decision and said, “It is a progressive decision and will help many housing societies going for redevelopment. When it was 70%, a group of people come together to stall the project. Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Thane and Palghar districts have a large number of societies. Of that, around 50% are going for full redevelopment, which means around 30,000 societies will benefit from the move.”The department has also stressed on the “transparency” of the process followed in redevelopment projects of the housing societies. The GR stated that the housing society that is opting for a redevelopment should have a website, where all the details, including a report of the project-management consultant (PMC) should be made available for the members to access. A hard copy of the project report prepared by the PMC, minutes of the managing committee’s and special general body meeting should be given to all members along with emailing the same within 15 days of receiving the report.