Builders Association of India expresses desire to redevelop cess buildings and stuck SRA projects

The Builders Association of India (BAI), an apex body of the construction sector with more than 20,000 members, has written a letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Housing Minister Jitendra Awhad, expressing its desire to undertake the redevelopment of old cessed buildings and Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) projects stuck for the past several years. BAI has extended its willingness to assist the state government and its agencies by providing contractors for the completion of these projects. It stated that if the proposal is accepted, Mumbai will become slum-free and the redevelopment of all old, dilapidated buildings will expedite.

In a study conducted by BAI, it was found that there is a lack of trust between tenants, developers and financial institutions, which is acting as a hurdle in the redevelopment projects. Further, the study indicated, when government agencies, such as Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA), Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) and City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) are involved in any project, the distrust factor is eliminated. The association, therefore, believes that if the proposal is accepted, it will largely benefit the city.

BAI stated that its 20,000 members will take responsibility for the construction of cessed dilapidated buildings and projects under SRA schemes. Mohinder Rijhwani, chairman, Mumbai Center, BAI said, "We are not asking for any monetary gain or change in the Development Control Rule. The government agencies will be free to sell the housing stock generated out of the sealable components and generate revenue. Thus, all the stakeholders, such as tenants, owners, occupants and the government will benefit."

As per the government records, there are 14,250 buildings that are cessed properties in categories A, B and C of the Development Control Rule 33(7). "It is a matter of distress that even after 29 years of cess provision, no concrete steps have been taken despite having sufficient funds for their rehabilitation," said Anand Gupta, chairman, BAI housing and RERA committee, in the letter to the government.

“Similarly, there are 1,500 slum projects under the Development Control Rule 33 (10), comprising 14 lakh slum units, housing 60 lakh dwellers in Mumbai. The redevelopment has been stuck for various reasons and one major reason is the distrust among the slum dwellers in the system," Gupta asserted.

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