IN A move that would make the cut-off date for eligibility for rehousing slum-dwellers almost irrelevant, the state government has proposed that all residents of slums in Mumbai would be entitled to rehabilitation under the slum redevelopment policy.
With almost every second city resident living in a slum, government sources admitted that the proposal could have a major impact on Mumbai’s infrastructure. At present, only residents of slums in dwelling units, which existed before January 1, 2000, are entitled to rehabilitation in a redevelopment scheme. The Devendra Fadnavis government has, however, decided to rehabilitate even those who live in dwellings constructed after the cut-off date. To enable this, the housing department has proposed modifications to the Maharashtra Slum Act, 1971.
On Thursday, Fadnavis chaired a high-level meeting where the proposal was cleared. Minister of State (Housing) Ravindra Waikar, senior officials from the CMO, the housing department, the law department, and officials from the Slum Rehabilitation Authority were present at the meeting. While the law department earlier cited reservations to the move, the Chief Minister on Thursday ensured they toed the line.
Sources said the proposal would now be placed before the state Cabinet. While the BJP is still weighing the political implications of the move, Fadnavis’s plan, confirmed sources, was to secure the passage of the legislation in this regard during the upcoming Assembly session.
On the basis of the Centre’s ‘Housing for All’ initiative, the government has proposed two rehabilitation components in a slum redevelopment scheme. Under this, while residents living in pre-2000 dwelling units will remain eligible for free rehabilitation, those found ineligible in this category will be accommodated under provisions of the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana. Sources, however, clarified that those in post-2000 dwellings won’t be entitled to a free house. They will have to pay the construction cost for the rehabilitation home.
In another move, Fadnavis has directed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation to make “open lands” in Mumbai available to the SRA to build transit tenements.
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