Twenty five years after the Shiv Sena government, which assumed charge in 1994, promised to relocate residents of 10 lakh slum units to multi-storey buildings, the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) has managed to rehouse only 2.01 lakh shanties. This is about 20 per cent of the original target.
As the Shiv Sena-Congress-NCP government was sworn in on Thursday, the parties’ common minimum programme makes a fresh promise to Mumbai’s 6 million slum dwellers, now proposing to rehouse them in even larger homes of 500 sq ft, instead of the existing scheme of 300 sq ft homes.
The SRA and its formerly Sena-controlled contractor arm, the Shivshahi Punarvasan Prakalp Ltd (SPPL), were formed in 1995 to fulfil Sena founder Bal Thackeray’s promise of free homes for the city’s slum dwellers.
Fluctuations and changes in the real estate market, as well as disputes between tenants and developers in SRA schemes, have led to the agency being able to achieve only a fraction of its initial targets, said a senior officer from SRA.
According to latest surveys, there are about 12 lakh slum units in Mumbai. Of these, 5.03 lakh slum units are part of various redevelopment schemes or proposed SRA housing societies floated under the Development Control Regulation 33 (10).
Slum redevelopment schemes work on a cross-subsidy model, whereby a developer appointed for a slum colony gets a portion of the buildable area for sale, while members of the slum scheme housing society are to be rehabilitated free of cost.
Currently, shanties constructed before January 2000 are eligible for the scheme. Shanties constructed between December 2000 and January 2011 are also eligible, but residents are required to pay the fixed construction cost of their homes.