Slums may go high-rise as state plans to regularise upper floors
MUMBAI: The city’s vast slums are set to grow some more, this time vertically, as the state government plans to make upper floors in slums also eligible for redevelopment.
So far, only one level was considered for redevelopment under the Slum Rehabilitation Authority’s (SRA) scheme — approximately 12 lakh slums and 50 lakh people are currently eligible to get better homes at no cost when their slums are redeveloped.
This week, Prakash Mehta, the state housing minister, said the state cabinet had adopted the Centre’s housing-for-all scheme, and to create more homes, his department plans to expand the scheme to the upper floors of Mumbai’s slums. An announcement will be made soon, he said.
Experts, however, said the plan is a recipe for disaster as it will encourage the vertical growth of slums and add pressure on an already burdened infrastructure.
The decision is also seen by many as a political one — with civic elections due in 2017, no political party will oppose the move keeping in mind the large vote bank. For private builders, who undertake the redevelopment in return for extra floor space index or buildable area, the move will lead to a windfall of profits, which means more political donations for the ruling party. According to the new rule, people living on the first and second floors would not get free homes, but will be given homes at affordable rates.
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