Mumbai: Set up between 2000 and 2011, residents of slums to pay up to Rs 8 lakh for new homes

While an exercise to map the new beneficiaries under the new plan is still underway, government sources believe around 18 lakh slum residents who have settled in hutments constructed between 2000 and January 1, 2011 will benefit from the move.

Written by Sandeep Ashar | Mumbai | Published: September 11, 2018 2:31:31 am
The government has set up a special cell within the SRA for the allotment and disposal of the paid replacement homes. (Express Photo by Vasant Prabhu)

Around 18 lakh people residing in slums that came up between 2000 and 2011 in Mumbai will have to pay about Rs 8 lakh each for their new houses under the government’s slum redevelopment policy.

In May, the Devendra Fadnavis government had rolled out a new plan to make Mumbai “slum free”, making even those residents of slums, who had settled in hutments constructed after the cut-off date of January 1, 2000, eligible for rehabilitation under the slum redevelopment policy.

While an exercise to map the new beneficiaries under the new plan is still underway, government sources believe around 18 lakh slum residents who have settled in hutments constructed between 2000 and January 1, 2011 will benefit from the move.

But unlike slums that have come up before the 2000 cut-off date, the government has said that the residents will have to pay for their new homes while availing the benefit of the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana’s (PMAY) interest subvention scheme.

On September 7, the state housing department issued a government resolution regarding the cost that the new beneficiaries will have to pay for their homes. It indicates that the slum dwellers would have to pay a little more than the construction cost of
the tenement.

While giving the Slum Rehabilitation Authority’s (SRA) chief executive officer (CEO) the powers to fix the tenement cost on a case-to-case basis, the government has ruled that the construction cost for rehabilitation, the cost of infrastructure development for basic and emergency services in the redeveloped slum, and a percentage of other administrative costs incurred by the SRA will be taken into account while computing the tenement cost.

Officials said that the average cost of building rehabilitation tenements for an SRA scheme in Mumbai was around Rs 5 lakh. They estimate that up to Rs 2 lakh could be charged from individual beneficiaries towards infrastructure development costs and Rs 1 lakh towards administrative expenses.

“The tenement cost will vary from one slum pocket to another depending on the location and expenses towards infrastructure development. But we expect that the maximum a slum dweller would have to pay would be Rs 8 lakh for a 269-sq ft home,” an official said. All those eligible to avail benefit of the PMAY’s interest subvention scheme can off set this cost by Rs 2.5 lakh.

Questions are being raised about the government’s decision to delink the payment of the tenement’s cost by the slum dwellers to the disposal of the sale incentive that the slum developer derives in lieu of it.

The government has set up a special cell within the SRA for the allotment and disposal of the paid replacement homes.

The SRA’s CEO will initially declare a provisional tenement cost for such beneficiaries for each project once the Letter of Intent is issued for it’s redevelopment. The beneficiary will have to pay this provisional amount before an allotment letter can be issued to him. In the event of there being an increase in the overall cost, the final tenement cost will be revised later.

The beneficiary will have three months (extendible by another three) to pay up the difference, following which, he would be given possession of the homes. If a slum dweller, waiting for rehabilitation, is accommodated in another slum redevelopment scheme, he would similarly have six months to pay the tenement costs, failing which he stands to lose his claim on the tenement.

On April 20, President Ram Nath Kovind had given his assent to the modifications approved by the state legislature to the Maharashtra Slum Act (1971), to allow rehabilitation of slum dwellers residing in hutments erected post January 1, 2000.

Official statistics show that more than 62 lakh people — or half of the city’s population — reside in 12.5 lakh slum tenements, which are collectively spread over just eight per cent of the city’s geographical area.

The “slum-free Mumbai” plan kicked off in 1995 when the then Shiv Sena-BJP government entitled hutments that had come up prior to January 1, 1995, for a free replacement house.

The Congress-NCP-led government later changed the cut-off date to January 1, 2000. Leveraging the Centre’s “Housing for All” initiative, the Fadnavis government has now proposed two separate rehabilitation components in a slum redevelopment project.
While residents living in pre-2000 dwelling units will remain eligible for free replacement houses, those who stay in units that have come up between 2000 and 2011 will be entitled to a subsidised paid-for accommodation.

The new plan is also a bonanza for slum developers, as they are eligible for additional sale incentives for the rehabilitation of the new beneficiaries. But with every second city resident living in a slum, concerns over the impact the additional buildable space would have on Mumbai’s social fabric and infrastructure have been raised.

While the government has said that the new plan will make slum redevelopment projects “more inclusive”, town planners have argued that this would lead to further “densification of slum pockets”.

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