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MHADA buildings, slum redevelopment to be brought under Maharashtra RERA, says state minister Prakash Mehta

Mumbai: The redevelopment of existing slums and MHADA buildings will soon be brought under the regulations of the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority, state Housing Development Minister Prakash Mehta said on Monday.

He was replying in the Legislative Assembly to a calling attention motion by BJP MLA from Dharavi, R Tamil Selvan.

Representational image. ReutersFile image of MHADA building construction. Reuters
Dharavi is dominated by slum clusters and has several buildings that have been constructed by the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA).

As per rules, slums are redeveloped by builders under SRA guidelines and comprise a saleable portion, for fresh buyers, apart from homes meant for rehabilitating slum-dwellers.

“This decision will impact the lives of at least 50-55 percent of the population of Mumbai. Almost 41 percent people live in slums as per the 2011 census. There are also 104 major colonies of the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) in the city,” a senior housing department official said.

Both these segments would come under the state’s RERA once the executive order, with necessary changes to the rules, is passed by the government, he informed.

“Earlier, RERA rules were not applicable to the construction of buildings which are meant for rehabilitation. However, if the houses meant for rehabilitation and those for fresh sales are in the same building, then RERA regulations would apply. Now RERA rules will apply to SRA buildings meant for rehabilitation,” he explained.

The official said that as per the 2011 Census, the population of Mumbai was 1,24,42,373 of which 52,06,470 lived in 11,35,514 slum tenements.

The slum segment, he said, comprised 41.84 percent of the city.

“There are 104 colonies of MHADA in Mumbai of which 56 are large ones with several buildings. Both these segments will now come under RERA. It will streamline the development of buildings and protect the rights of the flat owners,” the official said.

Earlier, speaking in the House, MLA Selvan said that builders who undertook work under SRA were found to be selling their projects to other builders.

“The new builder either develops it or, after some time, sells it to another builder. This benefits the builder but the rights of flat owners are violated,” Selvan said.

Mehta replied, “It is true that builders start a project and disappear after some time. Once RERA is applicable to rehab projects of SRA and MHADA, builders will have to get bank guarantees and other assurances. They cannot exit the project midway.”

Minister of State for Housing Ravindra Waikar, while responding to a query by Mumbadevi MLA Amin Patel, said that the government would bring in more transparency into the system.

“We will also hold a joint meeting of 126 SRAs in the Dharavi area along with other MLAs from Mumbai to find an amicable solution,” Waikar said.

He assured the House that an office of the RERA would be set up in neighbouring Thane to address issues faced by residents there.

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