To accelerate the process of making Mumbai slum-free, the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) has for the first time decided to physically map the city’s slums, and keep a ready record of all its occupants eligible for free rehabilitation.
The authority has called for bids to conduct a topographical survey and physically mark the boundaries of all slum clusters in Mumbai. It has also tied up with state-run MahaOnline to conduct a one-month pilot to record eligibility in a few slum clusters. The state government has recently issued fresh instructions to determine the eligibility of slum dwellers for rehabilitation as per its latest cut-off date, which protects all slum structures built before January 1, 2000.
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“We hope to complete the mapping within six months. We will keep a record of all slum-dwellers eligible for rehabilitation as per the government’s new norms so that once we receive slum redevelopment proposals, the eligibility will have been pre-determined and projects can immediately take off after basic scrutiny,” said a senior official who did not wish to be named.
The SRA has identified 3,293 slum clusters to map across Mumbai. These are spread over an area of 3,64,53,747 square metres — over 13 per cent of the total area of the city as covered in its development plan. The topographical survey will also mark all ongoing and sanctioned slum redevelopment schemes.
Besides, the SRA has also decided to purchase satellite imagery for all slum clusters from the National Remote Sensing Centre with a micro vision of up to 30 cm. The authority is considering demarcating slums for redevelopment by itself, instead of leaving the exercise to slum colonies and builders, which has until now led to piecemeal development.
“Developers would send proposals for a particular slum colony, choosing to leave out an adjoining colony due to difficulty in getting the consent of the residents for redevelopment. So the redevelopment was happening in a haphazard manner,” the official said.
The SRA scheme allows private developers to house slum-dwellers living in structures built before January 2000 in highrises constructed on a portion of the plot that the slum occupies. As an incentive, builders are granted a high floor space index, which refers to the ratio of the permissible built-up area to the plot area. They are allowed to commercially exploit the remaining public land free of cost. The scheme, which was launched two decades ago with the intention of housing 8 lakh families within five years, has managed to rehabilitate a little over 1.5 lakh families until now.