500,000 rental homes to check slum growth in Mumbai

August 30th, 2008 - 3:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Aug 30 (IANS) Around 500,000 inexpensive rental homes, targeted at low income groups, are to be built within three years in an effort to arrest the proliferation of shanties in Mumbai.This should be good news to people in India’s financial capital where an estimated 60 percent of the 13 million population lives in slums or semi-slum conditions without basic facilities.

The first lot of 35,000 houses - each self-contained unit measuring 160 sq ft - will come up in Tiwri village, Vasai, around 25 km from here, in neighbouring Thane district. The project will be undertaken by Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA).

They will be constructed by a private builder, Dhanashree Developers, over a 50 acre plot and the work is expected to start soon, D. Kawathkar, joint project director, MMRDA, said here late Friday.

The colony would be self-sufficient in terms of other infrastructure like schools, community halls and shopping areas.

“We plan to construct 200,000 rental homes in different areas within the next one year, as per the state government’s policy to arrest mushrooming slums and illegal constructions,” Kawathkar pointed out.

Also, the state government has decided to allot the tenements in the joint names of the husband and wife if the applicants are married. One of the eligibility criteria stipulates a minimum family income of Rs.5,000.

“The rental period and monthly amount shall be decided later by the MMRDA taking into account various aspects like location, construction costs, prevailing market conditions, etc,” he added.

For the past 10 years or so, the government has initiated various schemes, including the Slum Redevelopment Scheme, to control the growth of slums but these only met with varying degrees of success.

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