Eknath Shinde
Eknath Shinde
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Mumbai: In a serious bid to fast-track the redevelopment of dilapidated and dangerous buildings in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), Maharashtra Urban Development Minister Eknath Shinde on Tuesday directed all municipal corporations to prepare cluster development plans for their respective areas. This is in order to find a permanent solution for dangerous and dilapidated buildings in the MMR, as their redevelopment has been pending because of procedural, technical and financial issues.

Shinde said the delay in the redevelopment of such buildings was also due to long-pending disputes between landlords and tenants. The long-drawn out legal process and difficulties in the rehabilitation of tenants have also stalled the redevelopment of such buildings.

The minister has also asked the civic body chiefs to suggest options the government could explore towards speedy redevelopment of buildings which cannot be included in the cluster development. He has also directed them to suggest changes to be made in the existing schemes, to expedite the redevelopment process.

Shinde asked civic bodies to construct transit camps and move out residents living in buildings, especially during the rainy season. He has instructed the municipal commissioners to provide funds for the same.

He has also asked the civic bodies from MMR to set up their own squads to carry out rescue and relief operations in the wake of building collapses. This would help save lives of residents without any time lag, he said

Shinde’s move comes days after the Shiv Sena strongly opposed the Model Tenancy Act cleared by the Union Cabinet, citing that it would adversely impact tenants from the lower and middle class living in the 15,000 old buildings in the city.

Further, Shiv Sena MP Rahul Shewale urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi not to implement the Model Tenancy Act in Mumbai as it is pro-landlord and anti-tenant. Ahead of the forthcoming elections to the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation, the Sena staged an agitation in a bid to draw in tenants and thereby score brownie points against its erstwhile, estranged ally, the BJP.

Further, Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant has urged the Prime Minister to intervene and secure early approval from the President of India for the amendment to the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority Act, 1976, passed in the state legislature in September 2020. Sawant had argued that the implementation of the Act is crucial to protect the residents of the dilapidated buildings, particularly in cessed buildings.

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