Patra Chawl in Goregaon awaits redevelopment.
Patra Chawl in Goregaon awaits redevelopment.

Builders’ Association of India (BAI) has urged the government to hand over all projects under Slum Rehabilitation Act (SRA), including dilapidated buildings, to expedite the construction of houses in the city. Anand J Gupta, chairman, housing and RERA committee of BAI, said that these projects should be put on a contract basis to ensure they are completed in a time-bound manner. "In Mumbai, there are about 16,000 dilapidated buildings and about 2,000 SRA projects that need to go for redevelopment. For the last 25 years, several SRA projects, despite having NOC, have not started. Government's experiment of offering extra floor space index (FSI) & other incentives to push redevelopment has completely failed. The only way out is to hand over these projects to a nodal agency. Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) and SRA should keep a check on their progress."

BAI has about 19,000 members, who are contractors and builders. Gupta informed, if these stalled or stuck projects are given to them, they will also get an employment opportunity. "A large population in Mumbai stays in slum areas without proper sanitation and other facilities. The government needs to make the provisions of the Slum Rehabilitation Act,1995, favourable for builders to make housing available for slum dwellers."

Meanwhile, he also asserted that the government, under force of law, should take over all dangerous buildings and slum redevelopment projects instead of waiting for the tenants' consent. "There is no question of having the consent of people. In simple terms, if in a slum redevelopment project, if there are 500 tenants, then they may have their own vested interest whether to appoint a particular builder or not. Due to this, the project never progresses. Similar is the case with these 16,000 dangerous buildings. If this continues, no one will get a house."

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