Get involved in YOUR city and locality - Improve Your World
Get involved in YOUR city and locality - Improve Your World
Get involved in YOUR city and locality 
Improve Your World Home | About Us | Sitemap | Search | Contact Us 



   Home >> Library index >> Slums >> Now, get ready for slum-rehab civic body style 
Now, get ready for slum-rehab civic body style 
By Clara Lewis/TNN 

Mumbai: For builders who have fattened themselves on government-floated cross-subsidy schemes, another bonanza is on the way. This time it’s the BMC that’s all set to float its very own version of the state government’s Slum Rehabilitation Scheme (SRS). 
Under the new scheme—prompted by an acute shortage of houses for BMC employees—builders can buy plots at a premium from the civic body. These plots have been earmarked for staff quarters or allotment to cooperative housing societies of civic employees and houses for those displaced by public projects. The BMC will get 40 per cent of the total flats constructed, while the rest will be sold in the open market. The BMC will thus get around 20,000 quarters for its employees. 
Although the scheme is yet to get the green signal from the state government, builders are already queuing up with their proposals at the BMC headquarters. According to civic sources, some builders have come armed with recommendations from politicians. 
The interest is obvious, given the mega profits that the scheme offers. Under the Development Control Regulations, builders can use a floor space index (FSI) of 4 on land reserved for project-affected people. In the case of land reserved for municipal housing and staff quarters, however, the FSI is only 1, the normal FSI permitted in the city. What is even more interesting is the fact that the developer will be allowed to use transfer of development rights (TDR) in the suburbs. This means the developer will be able to put up relatively big buildings on plots where it would normally not be possible to do so. 
In the SRA scheme, the builder has to rehabilitate slum dwellers free of cost and, in lieu of this, gets an FSI of 2.5, which he can sell for profit. The BMC’s version is more attractive because builders can buy vacant plots with no burden of rehabilitation. 
The move has been prompted by the acute housing shortage being faced by BMC employees (the waiting list is around 4,000). Joint municipal commissioner Satish Bhide said that the scheme, if approved, would create around 20,000 quarters for its employees. 
The state had amended the Development Control Rules in 2001 to allow private participation in housing for municipal employees. The BMC had so far not framed any guidelines to implement this. At present, it has around 17,500 quarters, a majority of which are occupied by employees who have retired from service. 

Tulsiwadi Revisited 

The new scheme is a variation of an earlier housing one implemented by the BMC under the Urban Renewal Scheme at Tulsiwadi, Tardeo. Tulsiwadi, a sprawling 78,000 sq ft of municipal land, was encroached upon by 2,600 slum-dwellers and housed 725 tenements of the conservancy staff. The scheme required the builder to construct a 110-ft road and clear the storm water drains of hutments. After rehabilitating the slum-dwellers and constructing tenements for the conservancy staff, the builder was allowed to exploit a portion of the land commercially. The quarters were ultimately provided to the conservancy staff on ownership basis.