Slum dwellers to get bigger houses in Maharashtra | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Slum dwellers to get bigger houses in Maharashtra

They will now get homes measuring 315-322 square feet, up from the current 269 square feet

mumbai Updated: Jan 16, 2018 00:00 IST
Naresh Kamath
State housing minister Ravindra Waikar said the decision was imperative considering the number of families with children who are growing up.
State housing minister Ravindra Waikar said the decision was imperative considering the number of families with children who are growing up.(HT FILE)

It’s good news for slum dwellers as the state government is now all set to give them bigger homes measuring 315-322 square feet from the current 269 square feet. 

The decision is being taken as the minimum area mandated under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) for houses for urban poor is 322 square feet. 

This means any scheme under the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) will now make slum dwellers eligible for free houses of 315-322 square feet area. 

State minister for housing Ravindra Waikar said the decision was imperative considering the number of families with children who are growing up. “This increased area will result in 1BHK (Bedroom Hall Kitchen) houses, where families can stay quite comfortably,” said Waikar. “The children are growing up and need a place to study and bigger units really help,” he added. The state government has constituted a committee that will look into the matter and give their views within three months. 

It was only recently that the Devendra Fadnavis government announced that all slum dwellers who constructed shanties between the years 2000-2011 will also be accommodated in SRA schemes. 

However, unlike the other slum dwellers who built shanties before the year 2000 and will get free houses, the new ones (2000-2011) will have to pay the construction cost of get possession of their new houses. Even here there is a subsidy as the Central Government chips in with Rs1.50 lakh and the state government with Rs1 lakh, thus making houses cheaper by Rs2.50 lakh. 

In 1995, the then Sena-BJP government had increased the size of houses given to slum dwellers under the SRA scheme to 225 square feet from the previous 180 square feet. This was further increased to 269 square feet in 2009. 

However, housing activists have called the latest move as vote bank politics aimed at wooing the slum dwellers. “This is pure populism at work and will result in encouraging the mushrooming of slums. The state government is boosting the illegal constructions as now anyone who builds slums in assured of a house,” said Ramesh Prabhu, chairman, Maharashtra Societies Welfare Association.