Mumbai: The state government has decided to review and revive the Shivshahi Punarvasan Prakalp to redevelop slums by constructing a large number of housing stock in Mumbai. Housing experts say this move will ease the sky-rocketing prices of houses in the city.
State minister for housing, Ravindra Waikar, told dna that the government is committed to provide houses to the people. "We want to revive this innovative slum redevelopment scheme. It had received tremendous response during the earlier Sena-BJP regime in 1995. Now, to buy a house is the primary dream of the common man. Therefore, we want to step into that sector. The government has also allocated Rs1,600 crore in the budget for development of slums in the city," Waikar said.
The senior minister from the Shiv Sena further said that they would soon frame guidelines to execute the scheme. "We are taking all the views into consideration before finalising the policy. A large chunk of the urban populace lives in the slums. It is almost 40%. If we redevelop these slums, then Mumbai will get a huge stock of houses with the additional floor space index," Waikar added.
In the past 19 years, the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) has constructed only 1.5 lakh houses. "To build the remaining 11.5 lakh houses required, SRA will take another 140 years with the current speed of approval and construction. It shows that the government agencies are totally inept at handling the housing demand in the city," stated a report released by Praja, an NGO.
Pankaj Kapoor, managing director at Liasas Foras, a real estate research agency, welcomed the government move. "It's a very good and timely move by the government. Earlier, this Shivshahi Punarvasan Prakalp could not click because the property prices were not lucrative. So, most of the developers were reluctant to redevelop slums. Meanwhile, private developers took over but the success ratio is still a distant dream as per the Praja report. Now, with higher FSI, slum redevelopment will be financially feasible," Kapoor said.
Kapoor said that it is always good when multiple government agencies like Mhada and SRA are involved in construction of houses. "It will regulate the housing prices. And the supply will regulate the supply and demand.
Besides, every city has to evolve after a certain time period. That caters for the new demand and aspiration of the people. In slum redevelopment also, luxurious houses can be constructed. We have a huge scope of redevelopment in slum areas and this is the right time to undertake these projects for the betterment of the city. It will not only provide bigger, well-maintained houses but will also help people keep the surrounding condition of the redeveloped areas hygienic," he added.