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Officials, urban planners oppose Maharashtra government’s plan to regularise all slums  

On Sunday, the cabinet passed a proposal to regularise the slums built after the cut-off date of January 1, 2000, by charging a penalty under Centre’s programme ‘housing to all by 2022’ scheme.

mumbai Updated: Dec 12, 2017 23:18 IST
Mumbai,news,mumbai slums
(Picture for representation)

The state cabinet’s decision to regularise illegal slums by offering them subsidised houses has been opposed by department officials and urban planners.

On Sunday, the cabinet passed a proposal to regularise the slums built after the cut-off date of January 1, 2000, (for legalising slums) by charging a penalty under Centre’s programme ‘housing to all by 2022’ scheme. The eligible slumdwellers, who have been living in the structures before January 1, 2000, will get tenements free of cost.

Officials from housing and judiciary departments and urban planners have opposed the proposal saying it will hamper the existing the slum redevelopment proposals and make new ones unviable.

The state government has proposed an amendment in the Maharashtra Slum Areas Act 1971 to include illegal occupants in the schemes.

To expedite the slum redevelopment, the government has proposed to make the transfer easier within the government agencies including district collectorate, civic bodies by setting a time frame of 30 to 90 days. The proposed amendment has also given powers to the chief executive officer (CEO) of the Slum Rehabilitation Authority to decide on the eligibility of slum dwellers so that there is no delay. The CEO has also been given power to finalise the developers to undertake the slum rehabilitation schemes.

“The state has proposed amendments in the Act. Illegal occupants will also be eligible for rehabilitation as project-affected people or will be included under the Prime Minister Awas Yojana, in which the occupant bears part of the house cost,” said an official from the housing department.

“This will put additional burden on the existing infrastructure. The developer will not be in position to provide additional flats to ineligible occupants,” said the official.

The official also added that the CEO of the SRA has been given enormous powers in the proposal and may prove to leading to the corruption. The proposal was moved directly by the SRA, without taking the housing department into confidence and approved in the absence of housing minister Prakash Mehta.

The law and judiciary department, too, has opposed fundamental changes, such as amendment in the definition of slum areas.

Urban planner Chandrashekhar Prabhu said, “As recommended by state-appointed Tinaikar committee a few years ago, the SRA should be scrapped as it is a developer-driven scheme. The new proposal may defeat the whole purpose of idea of the slum rehabilitation.”

First Published: Dec 12, 2017 23:18 IST