Maha govt eases slum redevelopment guidelines

MUMBAI: To encourage developers to take up larger areas for redevelopment, the Maharashtra government has decided to allow “densification” under the slum rehabilitation scheme.

The government, which has promised 11 lakh affordable homes by 2022, is offering the floor space index (FSI) carrot as well as easing rules to encourage larger projects. Under the draft notification issued on Tuesday, if the tenement density is more than 800 per hectare (2.5 acres) then the government will immediately grant FSI of 4. If the tenement density is between 650-800 per hectare then the FSI for in-situ redevelopment will be 3, but if the eligible tenements are more than 650, then FSI of 4 will be applicable.

An FSI of 4 is already applicable for redevelopment of Dharavi and the slums on airport land. A May notification had limited the density to 500 tenements as in the original provision and did not increase FSI. However, it allowed the extra tenements to be used for affordable housing. Suyog Seth, a consultant said, the notification removes a big stumbling block in granting approval for a slum rehabilitation scheme. “Slum Rehabiliation Authority (SRA) projects will get off the ground faster as annexure II, which declares whether or not a slum dweller is eligible for free housing will no longer be a criterion for issuance of Letter of Intent (LOI). With the LOI, the developer can obtain clearances and begin construction. Annexure II is required only at the time of allotment,” he said.

Once the developer declares a certain number of hutments on one hectare, he will compulsorily have to construct that many tenements. If the number of slum dwellers held eligible for free housing in annexure II is less than the declared number of hutments, then the balance will have to be handed over for project-affected persons, affordable or rental housing and staff quarters. Seth said projects will be completed sooner. Marina Joseph of the Hamara Shahar Mumbai Abhiyan, said the notification does not specify to whom the extra tenements will be handed over to.

“The earlier notification issued in May 2016 clearly mentions these are to be handed over to the SRA,” said Joseph.

“The fear is that a loophole is being provided for developers to show these tenements as the mandatory 10% inclusionary housing,” added Joseph.

Credits ET Realty

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