Mumbai: In a bid to put the implementation of slum rehabilitation projects and Dharavi redevelopment project on fast-track, CM Uddhav Thackeray held a meeting on Friday. Thackeray has approved the Housing Minister Dr Jitendra Awhad’s proposal to create a stress fund of Rs 1,000 crore for the speedy implementation of about 350 slum rehabilitation projects stuck up for a long period because of land disputes, procedural roadblocks and financial crunch.
As far as the Dharavi redevelopment project is concerned, Dr Awhad has urged Thackeray to urge the Centre to immediately release 72 acres of land. The BJP-led government at Centre had already paid Rs 800 crore to the Ministry of Railways but the land has not been transferred yet to the state government.
Dr Awhad told Free Press Journal, "CM has given clearance to set up stress fund with a size of Rs 1,000 crore to provide finance to developers so that the stuck slum rehabilitation projects can be completed without further delays.’’ He informed that CM has agreed to speak to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Minister of Railways for an early transfer of 72 acres of land to the state government so that the Dharavi redevelopment project can be taken up at the earliest.’’ He informed that after the transfer of land the government will decide the future course of action.
The Housing Department Officer said the Shivshahi Punarvasan Prakalp Ltd (SSPL), which is a nodal agency to manage the proposed stress fund, has a corpus of Rs 500 crore while additional Rs 500 crore will be given to it by the Slum Rehabilitation Authority.
He informed that the SSPL will provide business to the banks who will come forward to fund the rehab projects without any guarantee. ‘’Even though the banks get business from SSPL, the banks will need a guarantee to finance such projects and for that, the land under free sale component which is usually leased out can be made freehold. This will provide additional security to banks apart from the sale component. In a nutshell, this becomes a viable proposition,’’ he said.
However, the developers who are really in need of finance from the stress fund will have an option for freehold land. But those who do not want to take the benefit of a stress fund will have an option of being on leasehold or freehold.