State yet to work on plan to redevelop coastal slums
More than a year after the Union Environment ministry lifted vertical restrictions on coastal areas in the city thereby opening up 146 slum clusters for development, the state government is yet to work out a policy for their redevelopment.
The new coastal norms, notified in January last year could give a fresh lease of life for redevelopment in nearly 46% of the city that falls in the Coastal Regulatory Zone (CRZ), thereby increasing housing stock in the city.
Under the new coastal norms, Floor Space Index (FSI) of 3 instead of the earlier 1.33 can be used for redevelopment of slums and old buildings. But, the environment ministry as a safeguard had called for a mandatory 51% stake by public agencies to redevelop the shanties.
And, that's been a stumbling block for the state's housing department. The department has not yet been able to work out the modalities of what would best be the state's 51% stake in this redevelopment.
The slum rehabilitation authority had recently suggested that land cost should be offered as the state's equity and the incentive FSI shared between the developer and the public agency.
Currently, a developer has to pay 25% of the ready reckoner cost for the encroached land to the state.
The problem in sharing of built-up area or FSI between the state agency and developers is that it would not leave private partners enough incentive.
"If the available FSI of 3 is to be shared between state and private developer then the developer gets FSI of 1.5, which is not incentive enough. That's the FSI available to him in any case," said Sachin Ahir, minister of state for housing. He said developers would not be tempted to take this up even if it saved them the land cost, as that was nominal.
Another option being discussed is instead of constructing 400 sq feet flats, the developer could give an open plot equivalent to the 1.5 FSI to the state. Mhada could then construct low cost tenaments on this. "We need some out-of-the-box thinking, and ideas for this policy. Unfortunately, no decision has been taken for a year," Ahir said.
The government is also mulling over setting up a SPV (a special company) on the lines of the defunct Shiv Shahi Punarvasan Prakalp to initiate redevelopment of slum clusters along the coast.
The slum redevelopment in the coastal areas from Cuffe Parade to Dahisar could rehabilitate nearly 47,000 families and create an additional 87 million sq feet of space.