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No more slums in Mumbai, says chief minister

The state will not tolerate unauthorised slums in the city, Chief Minister, Ashok Chavan, said.
Hindustan Times | By HT Correspondent, Mumbai
UPDATED ON APR 29, 2010 02:01 AM IST

The state will not tolerate unauthorised slums in the city, Chief Minister, Ashok Chavan, said.

“People have the right to come here and work. They have the Constitutional right, but they should not come and squat on the road, pavements or build unauthorised slums,” said Chavan, speaking while the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the state and the Maharashtra Chambers of Housing Industry (MCHI) for the ‘Housing For all’ project.

“The regularisation deadline has been increased from 1995 to 2000. I am not in favour of any further increase. If all political parties reach a consensus, I will take strict punitive action against unauthorised constructions,” Chavan said. “But then no one should call and ask me to stop action in their areas. I will not entertain such requests.”

He said the government was committed to making the country slum-free and that cannot be done unless affordable houses are constructed.

Under the MoU, the MCHI will construct five lakh affordable houses in five years and the state will ensure smooth implementation of the plans.

Chavan announced a single window system and quick clearances to expedite the process. The project will be taken up in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, which comprises the city and neighbouring areas Thane, Raigad and Navi Mumbai.

MCHI President, Pravin Doshi, said 15 developers have announced their intention to construct 2.5 lakh affordable houses. “Very few houses are being constructed for the segment that we intend to tap,” he said.

CEO of MHADA, Gautam Chatterjee, said how permissions have been streamlined in his organisation. Housing secretary, Sitaram Kunte, said a housing regulator will soon be reality while Municipal Commissioner, Swadheen Kshatriya, talked of steps to speed up permissions for constructions.

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