The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority’s (MMRDA’s) draft Regional Plan 2016-2036 has alleged that an increase in the number of slums in the city is a result of limitations in the Slum Re
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority’s (MMRDA’s) draft Regional Plan 2016-2036 has alleged that an increase in the number of slums in the city is a result of limitations in the Slum Rehabilitation Authority’s (SRA’s) policy of providing free housing to slum dwellers. It said that a lack of access to affordable formal housing and housing finance on account of being employed in the informal sector are the two major reasons for the growth of slums, and projected the housing need of Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) alone to be 44.45 lakh by 2036.
The plan includes a chapter on issues that need planning intervention, where it has pointed out several limitations in the existing SRA scheme. “The introduction of free housing in the slum segment meant redevelopment at no cost for the owners or tenants. The scheme was tailored in a manner that attracted residents as well as developers. However, the free housing scheme did not stay confined to slums and the poor. It created a legacy for regulations that made the non-poor also eligible for free houses,” the chapter reads.
It further reads, “Developers float schemes based on locations that lead to maximum profits, resulting in patchwork pockets of redevelopment. The lack of a comprehensive slum improvement master plan is resulting in a poor level of amenities as well as pockets of high density being created. The impact of high floor space index (FSI) for low-income housing has resulted in high-density pockets with inadequate supporting social and physical infrastructure.”
Interestingly, the government had declared it would construct 19 lakh homes in the state by 2022, keeping in mind its dream of ‘housing for all’.
A senior official, planning division (MMRDA), said, “When it comes to housing needs of MMR, the government has major challenges and, according to our projections, the total housing need by 2036 would be 44.45 lakh homes, of which 15 lakh would consist of new stock created through redevelopment.”