The Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) on May 23rd passed an order wherein all private and government land slum clusters existing on or before 2011 will be considered approved /declared slums and will be eligible for development schemes. Following this big decision, the Goathan and Koliwada representatives have cautioned SRA to not include their residential areas in slum schemes.
Godfrey Pimenta, Advocate and Bombay East Indian Company member said, "The SRA is currently carrying out a survey of slum pockets. Since the demarcation is ongoing and SRA has cleared that once the notices are issued, only 30 days time is given to raise suggestions and objections. This all will be done for all slum clusters at a time. Therefore, we have demanded that Koliwadas and Gothans should not be marked into slum pockets." Usually, Gothans and Koliwada are considered slums. The issue was also dragged to the court, said Pimenta.
Similarly, Sulaiman Bhimani advocate, who also runs an NGO said that though SRA has taken the said decision and discarded the hearing process for individual slums, awareness should be created on it. "The idea is complicated and therefore if the decision is not conveyed properly, developers having vested interest may create problems." "Secondly, the hearing provision facilitates that the particular slum pocket society can share their problem to the approving authority which will not be the case now," he asserted.
City based Activist Anil Galgali has welcomed the move of SRA. He said, "It was a much-needed step. As carrying out hearings for individual schemes is just a time-consuming process. Now all this will stop." It was a much-needed step in making Mumbai slums free.
The SRA is the planning authority for slum clusters in Mumbai. Currently, there is a total of 380 schemes in Mumbai which are ongoing. The SRA has also taken some crucial decisions to expedite stuck slum redevelopment projects such as providing finance to the abandoned projects.