Mumbai: Maharashtra housing minister 'flouts norms' to favour builder
Slum dwellers at Mumbai’s MP Mill Compound in Tardeo are to be transferred to a scheme designed for project-affected people (PAPs), as Maharashtra housing Minister Prakash Mehta sanctioned an SRA proposal
Slum dwellers at Mumbai’s MP Mill Compound in Tardeo are to be transferred to a scheme designed for project-affected people (PAPs), as Maharashtra housing Minister Prakash Mehta sanctioned an SRA proposal. The SRA proposal allows for additional building rights given to slum dwellers in the city.
According to a report by Times of India, Mehta has sanctioned the proposal, even though as per RTI documents; the proposal goes against development control rules and regulations. Also, Mehta’s decision was not supported by a housing department note that stated, "There is no provision in the DC rules that allows benefits granted to eligible slumdwellers to be withdrawn or transferred."
According to Mehta, he sanctioned the plan by signing the copy where he informed Devendra Fadnavis, Chief Minister, and Chairperson of the Slum Rehabilitation Authority about the same. As Fadnavis denied prior information about the plan, he was quoted saying to the website, "The SRA didn't implement the file since it was neither sent to me nor signed by me. It was submitted to me for concurrence where I have asked to stay the entire proposal. Government will not allow anything which is not part of the policy or the rules."
In the meantime Mehta told to TOI, The developer had already built the free sale area. If the slum society did not want more area, at least the state should get a PAP tenement out of this," said Mehta. He denied any knowledge of the housing department's objections, even though he had signed his approval on its note. "Housing department did not have objections. If they have any issues, they will get back to me.”
The MP Mill compound slum scheme in Tardeo was sanctioned back in 1996. The scheme led to the construction of 60-storey Imperial Towers. The decision on sanctioning the proposal would generate extra building rights worth Rs 500 crore and above to be sold for developer, SD Corporation.
As per SRA scheme, a builder who gets the permission from 70 percent slum dwellers can rehabilitate them for free in new buildings on one part of the plot. In revert, the builder is permitted to build towers for sale on the same plot and give it for sale in the market
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