Real Estate News
October 18, 2016
In the past few years, there have been many announcements about an imminent housing bonanza for Mumbaikars. But the city has got little apart from grandiose assertions about an FSI boon, cluster revamp and affordable housing. It is time the state progressed from simply 'unveiling' policies to implementing them. TOI looks at various housing policies and what they have achieved
Slum Rehabilitation Scheme
In 1995, the Shiv Sena-BJP government promised free housing (225 sq ft tenement) for all slum dwellers. In five years, 40 lakh slum-dwellers were to be refocused. Till date, around 1.5 lakh tenements have been built. The scheme was a bonanza for developers with 40-100% profit margins. Many schemes are stuck as those living on the first floor don't get free housing. Around 1,200 schemes are still to be cleared. The SRA is conducting a bio-metric survey of residents and commercial units in 3,293 slum clusters.
The plan was first mooted in 2003. The project was cancelled in 2011 due to faulty bids. Dharavi was divided into five sectors and Mhada was appointed to redevelop one sector. It constructed only one building in five years. This year, the government again tried to interest private developers. Despite extending the time for submitting bids, it did not receive a single bid. It now plans to further reduce the size of clusters, form a panel of builders and let residents choose who redevelops their cluster.
Redevelopment of Mhada layouts
Last year the Maharashtra Housing Area Development Authority sought a restoration of 4 FSI for redevelopment of Mhada layouts. In 2013, the state government reduced FSI to 3 after realizing that in effect FSI went up to 5.6.Mhada vice-president Sambhaji ZendePatil said that prior to 2010, the redevelopment policy got a huge response. Mhada earned Rs 2,518 crore and about 1,100 tenements were built. He said the government's decision to stop the policy resulted in 250 proposals being stuck. He has proposed that if FSI cannot be used on the same plot, one should be allowed to use it on other buildings in the same ward. For plots less than 2,000 sqm, the society should be able to pay Mhada. For bigger plots, the option will be to give housing stock to Mhada. FSI has been restored to 4. It now remains to be seen if construction will resume.
Cluster Redevelopment Scheme
It is the ideal urban renewal scheme but lack of political will has prevented it from taking off. It was introduced in 2009, revised in 2014 and finally given the go-ahead in January last year. Only one scheme at Currey road rehabilitating tenants has been completed. The sale component is still to be finished. The Saifee Burhani Upliftment Trust has begun redeveloping Bhendi Bazaar. The Prithviraj Chavan government announced the extension of the scheme to the suburbs. But a PIL challenging the grant of more than 4 FSI without an impact assessment report for Thane shelved the project. Last year, Fadnavis revived it and said the BMC would do an impact assessment within two months. It is yet to be done.
Redevelopment of old buildings O f the 19,642 old and dilapidated buildings in the island city, only 3,104 have been redeveloped to date. The policy came into force in 1991.It has resulted in skewed development, putting strain on existing infrastructure as the policy does not allow for the creation of any civic infrastructure. The scheme which was earlier only for cessed buildings a few years ago was extended to non-cessed buildings in the island city.
BDD chawl redevelopment
There are four clusters of BDD chawls at Worli, Naigaum, N M Joshi Marg and Sewri spread over 93 acres. The redevelopment of the chawls was first mooted by the residents in 1992 and the plan accepted by successive governments. A cabinet decision on redeveloping the chawls was passed in 1999.These were recently scrapped and a new proposal formulated with Mhada as the nodal agency. Early this week the government finalised a new Development Control Regulation 33(9)B for the redevelopment of the 207 chawls. The residents want to do it themselves and are opposed to Mhada playing any role.
Housing for mill workers
After the redevelopment of mill lands was given approval the government announced that it would provide housing for mill workers at construction cost."This was in 2006 and 1.48 lakh workers were to benefit. To date only 10,000 houses have been allotted on a lottery basis. Fadnavis in May this year said a lottery will be held for another 2,624 flats in August.These were to be in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region. However, so far there is no word on it," said Datta Iswalkar of the Girni Kamgaar Sangharsh Samiti.Iswalkar said the housing policy does not provide any details on how and where the remaining flats will be made available. "As the years go by the construction cost is also going up. From Rs 7.5 lakh per flat it is now Rs 9.5 lakh. This government is not serious about resolving the issue," he said.
Redevelopment in CRZ areas
Introduced in 2011 chiefly for slum redevelopment, the policy requires that the schemes should be undertaken directly or through joint ventures or through public-private partnerships or other similar models ensuring that the stake of the State Government or its parastatal entities shall not be less than 51%. It has found no takers.
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