Awhad wants new system to track file movement

Updated: Jan 15, 2020, 07:55 IST | Sanjeev Shivadekar | Mumbai

Minister aims to create transparency in the housing dept and expedite the clearing of approvals that a developer needs from the administration

Jitendra Awhad also plans to rope in nationalised banks to fund developers who are unable to complete their projects due to the liquidity crisis. File pic
Jitendra Awhad also plans to rope in nationalised banks to fund developers who are unable to complete their projects due to the liquidity crisis. File pic

If everything goes according to plan, the state housing department will soon have a system in place to make file movements more transparent.

The new system will help the administration and developer track a file's movement from one desk to another and even know the reasons for a delay if it fails to move from an officer's table within a stipulated time.

On Monday, housing minister Jitendra Awhad took stock of his department and instructed housing department officials to have a process and system in place, where one could get information on how long a file was pending with an officer and why.

Speaking to mid-day, the NCP leader said, "The idea is to bring transparency and expedite clearing of necessary approvals that a developer has to take from the administration for the housing projects."

The minister also has plans to rope in nationalised banks to fund developers unable to complete projects due to the liquidity crisis. "Genuine home buyer suffer when a project gets stuck. Will request government-run banks to fund projects which are in good condition and where the developer has the credibility and potential to return loans as the project moves towards completion. This will help remove negativity in the construction industry. But the assistance will be only for genuine developers and projects and not for all incomplete projects," the minister added.

According to rough estimates from the experts, nearly 3,000 projects are stuck at various stages in Mumbai. The fraternity believes that most of them are incomplete either due to a financial crisis or lack of approvals, especially the Slum Redevelopment Projects.

The much talked about cluster development too seems to be on Awhad's agenda. The new Development Plan (DP) 2034 talks about the cluster development for the city's old societies and colonies.

'Bigger houses for slum dwellers'

Congress leader and cabinet minister Aslam Shaikh on Tuesday wrote to CM Uddhav Thackeray, urging him to provide bigger houses to slum dwellers. "Flats allotted to slum dwellers under the existing SRA rule are too small. I request that 500 square feet homes be provided under SRA," Shaikh said in his letter. In 2019, then Congress president Rahul Gandhi during Lok Sabha campaigning in Mumbai had said that his party would give 500 square feet houses to slum dwellers in Mumbai if voted to power. At present, 269 square feet houses are provided under SRA projects. The same was changed to 300 square feet during the erstwhile BJP-Sena government in Maharashtra.

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