Mumbai govt to help acquire land for cluster redevelopment
Nov 25, 2013
Source : The Times of India


MUMBAI: Occupants of unauthorized flats and shops will be legally rehabilitated as part of the state government new cluster redevelopment policy. Critics said this sop is a virtual indictment of the government, which has failed to curb illegal constructions.

TOI has learnt that the government plans to offer rehabilitation area of 250 sq ft to 700 sq ft premises to all such occupants.

These residents will have to bear the cost of construction and there will be no incentive for the developer for rehabilitating them, said sources.

Congress MLA Amin Patel from South Mumbai who has the maximum number of old and dilapidated buildings in his constituency said the government has to accept that there has been a systemic failure. ” “We cannot throw them out. Where will they go? We need to rehabilitate else the planned development of the city cannot happen,” he said. The Campa Cola society is a glaring example of the systemic failure.

The cluster redevelopment policy was formulated post-2005 floods when a number of old and dilapidated buildings crashed. The state government then decided to take up block redevelopment rather than single buildings that were resulting in a very skewed development of the city. However, the 2009 policy did not find many takers and now the government is drawing up a fresh policy to replace the earlier one. This is likely to apply across the city.

Like in case of slum-dwellers, here too there will be a cut-off date. “The debate is should it be January 1, 1995 as for all slums or January 1, 2000 as for slums on land meant for vital projects like Dharavi, the airport and the Mumbai Urban Transport Project or should it be 2011 wherein slum-dwellers who have bought pre-1995 structures as late as 2011 are to be considered eligible on payment of a transfer fee.”

Sources said the new cluster redevelopment policy was submitted to chief minister Prithviraj Chavan on 21st November by the urban development department. “It is likely that he may approve it by Saturday,” said sources.

Amongst the incentives of residents is a minimum rehab flat of 323 sq feet or 30 sq metres if the cluster rehabilitation is limited to one acre. “But if it is a mega-cluster then depending on the size of the plot the incentive will go up by 10%, 15% to a maximum of 25%. Along with fungible fsi, the flat size can go up to 545 sq feet,” said sources.

The government will also relax the condition on property ownership for redevelopment from 100% to 70% . Similarly 70% of tenants will need to give consent. Patel who had proposed the change said the government has conveyed it will accept the proposal.

Unlike the old policy where the government had no role to play in land acquisition, under the new policy it will step in and aid in acquiring the remaining 30% of land.

The BMC as planning authority will draw the boundaries of each cluster thereby ensuring that the city gets its infrastructure and public amenities. The cluster redevelopment will be detailed in a Urban Renewal Scheme master plan along with the civic Development Plan and a comprehensive plan for every cluster. Each of these plans have to merge into each other so that there is planned development of the city, said sources.

Once the Mumbai plan is approved the government will draw up a plan for Thane which too has seen exponential illegal growth.

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