Introduction, the proliferation of slums in Mumbai and their redevelopment
The proliferation of slums in Mumbai has always been an eye hope to anyone who visits India’s maximum city and commercial capital. It is estimated that almost 50% of Mumbai’s population resides in slums and similar structures. The biggest slum of Mumbai is Dharavi and several massive slum clusters are also found in the western suburbs of Kandivali and the eastern suburbs of Mulund.
The growth of Mumbai’s slum clusters can be attributed to the slumlord menace who would grab public and private lands and would construct slums upon the same. To combat this the state of Maharashtra enacted the Maharashtra Slum Areas act of 1971. The Maharashtra Slum Areas act of 1971 provided strict penalties and punishments for Slumlords and other persons who tried to illegally establish slums. However, the enforcement of the provisions of the act was lax and consequently, Mumbai’s slum population grew by leaps and bounds.
The Slum Redevelopment Policy of 1999 – a major change in the Law.
In order to expedite the redevelopment of Mumbai slums, the Government of Maharashtra came out with the Slum Rehabilitation scheme of 1999. This was passed by the Shivsena-BJP government under the Chief-ministership of Manohar Joshi and Narayan Rane. Under the Slum Rehabilitation scheme, any person could redevelop a slum after obtaining the prior written consent of 70% of the eligible slum inhabitants.
It is pertinent to note that not all slum dwellers were eligible to participate in the slum rehabilitation scheme. Only those slum inhabitants who had been staying in their respective tenements before the cut-off dates of 1985 were eligible to participate in the scheme and obtain a new tenement in respective of the old slum tenement. However successive Governments over the years have progressively relaxed this requirement and recently the cutoff date was shifted to the year 2000. This means that any slum-dweller who has been occupying his slum hutment before the year 2000 is eligible to receive a free rehabilitation unit in the slum redevelopment scheme.
What happens in a Slum Rehabilitation Scheme?
In a slum rehabilitation scheme, the eligible slum dwellers are entitled to receive a new flat having an area of 269 sq ft (increased from earlier 225 sq ft). They can get this new flat after they have handed over their old slum hutments for demolition and redevelopment. Such a new rehabilitation flat is provided free of cost to the slum dweller who is eligible to participate in the scheme.
What are the Advantages in Store for a Developer who undertakes a Slum Redevelopment Scheme?
Any real estate developer who participates in a slum redevelopment scheme is eligible for a host of economic advantages. If the land is publicly owned, he gets the land free of cost and his only expense is that he has to construct free housing units that will be handed to the existing slum dwellers. On the balance vacant land which remains after the buildings for slum dwellers have been constructed, he can construct his commercial building with flats for sale in the open market. This way the builder can recover the money invested by him in redevelopment and construction and stands to make a major profit in the process
There are several developers who carry on the business of slum redevelopment in Mumbai. They include Omkar developers, Kanakia developers and many more.
What is the Procedure for starting a Slum Redevelopment Scheme?
A slum redevelopment scheme is implemented in a series of complex stages. The Government will conduct a survey of the land which is occupied by slums and measure the area and extent of it. In the said survey, a proper survey map will be prepared which will show the existing details and location of all the hutments and slum tenements existing at the site. Once the survey map is prepared a proper survey is conducted of all the people who are residing in the slums and the owners or occupants of each slum hutment, his name is recorded and his details are taken.
Once the slum occupants name and details are taken, he also has to provide proof showing that he has been in possession of the slum tenement before the cut off date. Proof of this can be given in the form of Ration card, Electricity bill, Collector survey reports or any other proofs which may be in existence. It is not compulsory for a slum dweller to provide documents of the title because usually for slum structures the registration office is reluctant to register the sale deeds and transfer deeds. Therefore the slum occupant has to prove to the competent authority that he has been occupying the site prior to the cut off date and hence, thereby demonstrating his eligibility in participating slum redevelopment scheme.
Preparation of Annexure-2
Once the slum survey has been completed and the respective slum dwellers have given their identity proofs and along with their document showing occupation of premises, the competent authority, which is usually the deputy of collector for the city of Mumbai will prepare a detailed list which is known as Annexure 2. The Annexure 2 is the list of those slum occupants who are eligible to participate in the slum redevelopment scheme and receive new flats in exchange for their old slum hutments. Once the annexure 2 is prepared, the slum rehabilitation will issue a letter of intent to the developer.
Issuance of letter of intent to Developer and steps thereafter:
Once the letter of intent has been issued to the developer, the developer must apply for all necessary approvals for the purposes of constructing his building. This is analogous to applying for a building plan approval with the municipal corporation of Greater Mumbai. It is pertinent to note that the planning authority for any slum redevelopment scheme is the Slum Rehabilitation Authority or the SRA and not the Mumbai Municipal Corporation. This means that any application for approval of building plans and getting construct permits such as commencement certificates will lie before Slum Rehabilitation Authority and not before the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM).