There is good news for the 35 lakh-odd residents of 14,500 cessed buildings in the island city. Their dream of new homes may soon take concrete shape, as the state cabinet meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday cleared the amendments to the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) Act, 1976 to facilitate redevelopment of these old and dilapidated structures, some of which are as old as 100 years. With Wednesday’s cabinet approval, the redevelopment of 30-year-old buildings is also possible now.
Housing Development Minister Dr Jitendra Awhad told The Free Press Journal, ‘‘With the proposed amendments, the redevelopment can be fast-tracked. The government will soon issue an ordinance and table the bill in the ensuing monsoon session of the state legislature, slated to begin from September 7. A slew of incentives will be offered, including more than FSI 4 for the proposed redevelopment of these buildings.’’
As per these amendments, once MHADA takes over partially complete or untouched projects, it will be bound to complete the redevelopment within a period of three years from the date of receipt of the commencement certificate. The amendments to the MHADA Act are crucial, as the redevelopment of many cessed buildings in Mumbai city has been stalled, closed, or partially abandoned by developers. There are also cases of non-payment of rent to residents or violation of the terms and conditions of the No-Objection Certificate as well as non-compliance by the corporation with a Section 354 notice.
The government has proposed amendments to sections 2, 77 and 95-A of the MHADA Act, 1976. Besides, the government will propose addition of new sections, 79A and 91A to facilitate redevelopment on a mission mode. The state cabinet also approved the establishment of a high power committee under the chairmanship of the principal secretary (housing), to resolve the grievances between owners / developers and the MHADA.
The government had set up a committee of eight MLAs on October 29, 2016, to make recommendation on expediting the redevelopment of dilapidated and dangerous cessed buildings in Mumbai. The committee had suggested measures to do so as soon as possible.
The Builders Association of India and RERA Committee chairperson Anand Gupta said the cabinet decision would facilitate the reconstruction and redevelopment of all 14,500 cessed buildings and would help residents get new homes in a time-bound manner. ‘‘This will also impact real estate in Mumbai and may also bring a marginal price correction as the sale component will get created along with the redevelopment of these buildings,’’ he noted.
However, Gupta said redevelopment also depends on the one-window timely approval by various agencies. He further added, the government and MHADA need to defer payment of all development charges and premium by developers.