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Stress fund for Slum Housing, SRA on fast track

By B N Kumar

Mumbai, July 09, 2020 (Samachar Network): The Maharashtra Government has accepted NCP supremo Sharad Pawar’s idea to set up a stress fund for slum redevelopment projects to help developers deliver homes quickly.

“This should help the ailing real estate industry to complete the Slum housing projects,” said State Housing Minister Jitendra Awhad addressing a virtual media meet. The Fund, to be raised by the Slum Redevelopment Authority (SRA) will be with the SBI.

“Pawar mooted the proposal and I secured CM’s approval for this. We will announce details in a day or two, Awhad said.

The Minister also announced a series of relaxations in its slum redevelopment policy to ensure faster availability of housing for slum dwellers in Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR). The various premiums related to slum redevelopment projects have been relaxed by way of reductions and deferred payments.  Along with the premium relaxations, the approvals timeline has been drastically reduced at all stages by SRA, which is the nodal agency under the Housing Ministry to implement the slum redevelopment scheme.

Stating that the relaxation in various SRA premiums and reduction in approval timeline are targeted to achieve a slum-free Mumbai at the earliest, he added that the new premium structure would also ensure clubbing of SRA projects in city zones which were stalled owing to non-feasibility factor.

He further stated that the revised timeline of the approvals structure at various stages including LOI would result in more than 50% reduction in timeline compared to the previous timeline practiced by SRA.

Along with the relaxation in premiums and timeline, all SRA projects would be empowered with health centres; authorized committee to relocate religious structures within the project; online approval (auto DCPR) mechanism like MCGM and committed continuity in construction of rehabilitation buildings which can only be stopped by specific high court orders.

Highlighting the key purpose of the current relaxations in SRA guidelines, Awhad remarked that the latest relaxations is an outcome of series of discussions with all stakeholders, post suggestions and objections, which has been further pushed by the current Covid-19 pandemic environment in MMR.

“The state decision to push SRA development is also keeping in view the city’s readiness to tackle any future pandemics such as Covid-19. As we continue to battle the Covid-19 virus, Mumbai has witnessed an alarming ratio of Covid-19 cases across the slums and a proper housing environment will be the key to safeguard lives and prevent any community spread of such diseases going forward”,  he remarked.The series of measures undertaken by SRA has also capped the rental amount structure, during the rehabilitation phase, to Rs 1.2 lakh and Rs 96,000 per annum in the city and suburbs zones respectively.

As per prevailing policy, applications for IOA was accepted after issuance of LOI but now it will be approved simultaneously and CC issued within 7 days of the application. And the approval of file will be scrutinized at 3 levels only compared to 6 levels previously.

Earlier, the maintenance deposit of Rs 40,000 per tenant was payable to the extent of 50 per cent at CC stage and balance at rehab OC stage. This has been relaxed to be payable at OC stage of the rehab building.

The on-going construction of rehab buildings in SRA projects will not be issued stop work order except in cases of specific orders from High Court.  

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