The SRA has managed to provide only 1.6 lakh-odd houses to slum dwellers so far. PIC FOR REPRESENTATION
The SRA has managed to provide only 1.6 lakh-odd houses to slum dwellers so far. PIC FOR REPRESENTATION

The Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) is juggling several incomplete projects, but that hasn't stopped it from eyeing land belonging to five trusts and three companies, which it wants to acquire. The SRA doesn't seem to be prepared with a rehabilitation plan as yet for the residents of the hutments that currently stand on the plots. Till now, it has managed to provide only 1.6 lakh houses to slum dwellers; another 3 lakh are under construction.

Slow and unsteady
After the BJP government came to power, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had instructed the SRA to take over the trust land. The authority, however, has taken over two years to begin work, and is only now likely to start taking measurements for constructing houses on these plots. It is looking to fast-track the process of taking over around 407 acres of land belonging to the eight entities, but is yet to fix the compensation to be paid to the trusts and companies.

Further delay seems already on the cards. Sources informed that one trust had moved the Bombay High Court after the land acquisition notices were sent. The trusts involved are located in Bhandup, Kanjurmarg, Kurla, besides the AH Wadia trust and FE Dinshaw trust. The private companies are VK Lalco Pvt Ltd, Byramjee Jeejeebhoy Group, and Godrej and Boyce Pvt Ltd.

Area-wise
SRA deputy collector Ajinkya Padwal said, "We are in the process of acquiring 407 acres and have issued notices to the trusts and companies." He added, "Once the acquisition procedure is complete, we will forward the details to the state government for approval, and future plans will be made by the authorities. Contractors can be appointed for rehabilitating the slum dwellers, or land can be auctioned, wherein the winning bidder would compulsorily have to rehabilitate the slum dwellers. The entire acquisition process is likely to take a year," a senior official said.