Over 500 SRA projects failed to take off in 15 years in Mumbai: Report
Publish on : 2021-01-05 12:52:02
According to SRA data, there are 2,131 ongoing projects in the city where slum schemes have submitted, of which 1,602 have already received the letter of intent (LOI).
MUMBAI: Even as the state government is pushing for the redevelopment of slums, a recent SRA review report has revealed that as many as 533 such projects are either stuck or have been shelved since 2005.
According to SRA estimates, more than lakh slumdwellers have been affected by these 'dead' projects.
Last month, the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) began issuing notices to developers who have failed to start their projects even after getting approvals. According to SRA data, there are 2,131 ongoing projects in the city where slum schemes have submitted, of which 1,602 have already received the letter of intent (LOI).
"As of September 2020, 533 SRA schemes have failed to start or there's a long delay... So, we are issuing notices under Section 13 (2) of the SRA Act for change of developer," said Ranjit Dhakne, SRA secretary. "So far, we have issued notices to around 150 developers. Around 50 hearings have also taken place."
Dhakne added: "We are giving three months to developers to re-start their 'dead' projects. If they fail to do so, we will change the developer with the consent of the slumdwellers' society. And if the delay is due to lack of permissions, we are trying to fast-track them."
The SRA scheme was supposed to rehouse 40 lakh slumdwellers, but has managed to rehabilitate only about 10% in the last 20 years. One of the prime reasons why SRA projects are stuck is because of fly-by-night builders. They corner the development rights of the slum by getting residents’ consent and then wait for an opportune time to sell the rights to a bigger builder. The state must review the slum policy and help the occupants redevelop their shanties without the aid of such builders by probably providing soft loans.Times View
Housing minister Jitendra Awhad said he has already given instructions to restart 'dead' projects. "If builders don't restart their SRA projects, their schemes should be terminated and new builders must be appointed. Not just for SRA, we will have the same policy for Mhada projects too. We want to ensure that maximum slumdwellers are rehabilitated," Awhad told TOI.
Pointing out that changing the builder requires slumdwellers' consent as they select the developer, former SRA CEO Sambhaji Zhende said: "The SRA will have to check case by case why the projects are stuck, and then try to resolve the problems. There can't be a blanket solution to fast-track all dead projects."
Over 500 SRA projects failed to take off in 15 years in Mumbai: ReportAccording to officials, SRA projects are stuck for various reasons including lack of funds or complaints by tenants against the builder. "Some projects are at the initial stage where only the schemes have been submitted, but the eligibility of the slumdwellers has not been decided. In other schemes, even the eligibility is done, but the LOI is to be issued. In a few cases, builders have stopped work even after getting the LoI," an official said.
Last December, the state government had set up a 10-member committee to ensure speedy disposal of complaints pending with the SRA, including corruption and red-tapism.
Around 2.1 lakh families have got new homes in the 23 years since the SRA was formed. According to estimates, 12.5 lakh slum areas in the city house nearly 62 lakh population.