The Shiv Sena led Maha Vikas Aghadi government has set an ambitious target of slum-free Maharashtra. The government has set up a five-member committee headed by the additional chief secretary (revenue) to prepare a comprehensive report and make recommendations. The BJP led government had rolled out a plan for slum-free Mumbai but before its implementation, the government changed.
The committee comprises the principal secretary (housing), principal secretary urban development 1), principal secretary (urban development 2) and chief executive officer of the Slum Rehabilitation Authority. The trigger was the presentation made by the housing department to the Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on the present state of slums and the need to make Maharashtra slum-free.
The state government’s move is important as Maharashtra continues to have more than 25% of all slum habitations in the country. The state is home to the largest number of slums which are growing with the pace of urbanisation. In addition, the state has more than 40% slum households.
As far as Mumbai is concerned half of the population resides in the slum. The slum-free Mumbai plan was initially launched by the Shiv Sena-BJP government in 1995 with a resolve to provide a free replacement home with a cut-off date of January 1, 1995. However, the Congress-NCP led government changed the cut-off date for free housing to January 1, 2000.