SRA rejig on cards to boost slum redevelopment in Maharashtra

More than 60 lakh people stay in slums and around 1.80 lakh slum dwellers have shifted to new homes under the SRA scheme in the past 21 years.

mumbai Updated: Mar 23, 2018 12:38 IST
Swapnil Rawal
Swapnil Rawal
Hindustan Times
SRA,Slums in Mumbai,Redevelopment
There are thousands of projects stuck in Mumbai with issues such as consent of slum dwellers, infighting, financial inability of the builder, among others.(HT FILE)

In a bid to boost slum redevelopment in Mumbai and Thane, the state housing department is planning to create a separate Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) and appoint its CEOs for the island city, suburbs and Thane. Minister of state for housing Ravindra Waikar said the proposal has been sent to chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, and a final decision will be taken soon.

Across Mumbai, there are several slum rehabilitation projects that are stuck owing to various reasons. Waikar said the move to create separate SRAs for each region is necessary to deal with the number of projects and to clear pending projects. “Many SRA schemes are underway in Mumbai and the suburbs, but due to various reasons, these schemes are not implemented with the required speed. At present, there is only one SRA CEO to resolve the issues that arise during implementation, hence it is not possible to clear them in a specific time frame,” Waikar said in the legislative council on Thursday.

According to the SRA, more than 60 lakh people stay in slums and around 1.80 lakh slum dwellers have shifted to new homes under the scheme in the past 21 years.

Read more: Govt sop for slum-dwellers will boost SRA projects, but lead to increase in slums in Mumbai

In Mumbai, separate SRAs will be created on the lines of the two district collectorates in the island city and suburbs. “Not just that, the government is positive about appointing a CEO in Thane to speed up the slum redevelopment schemes under cluster redevelopment. A proposal for separate SRAs has been sent to the CM. He will take a final call soon,” Waikar said.

According to Waikar, there are thousands of projects stuck in Mumbai with issues such as consent of slum dwellers, infighting, financial inability of the builder, among others. “To expedite the projects, we have proposed giving more powers to the CEO. A bill on this has been cleared in the ongoing budget session and has been sent to the President for his assent,” he said.

The state government is also planning to accord the status of ‘special planning authority’ to the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada). Speaking in the legislative council on the issue of speedy redevelopment of 56 colonies across Mumbai, Waiker said the status of SPA to Mhada will expedite procedures. “Currently, Mhada has to seek approvals from various authorities, mainly the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation. With the status of SPA, projects will be cleared faster without having to depend on other government agencies,” he said.

Realestate activist advocate Vinod Sampat said the move will smoothen the process. “There will lessen the burden on the whole SRA mechanism and also provide relief to the slum dwellers who are mostly hassled,” said Sampat.

First Published: Mar 23, 2018 12:34 IST