Skip to main content

Gujarat slum policy proposes authority to "manage" slums, permits Swiss route to private developers

By Rajiv Shah
The Gujarat government is all set to form Gujarat Affordable Housing and Slum Rehabilitation Authority (GAHSRA), with sweeping powers, under the chairmanship of the the state chief minister to “manage” and “develop” state slums in the state's urban areas. Draft of the Gujarat Slum Rehabilitation and Redevelopment Policy, 2013, in possession of  www.counterview.net, at the same time, seeks to add yet another bureaucratic ladder at the local urban self-governing level under the chairmanship of municipal commissioner in municipal corporation area, chairman of the urban development in the urban development authority area, and the district collector in municipality area. The new structure would be called Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA)..
The policy has been worked out as the previous one, of 2010, had become a non-starter. The previous policy had wanted to involve private developers (like this one) to take up slum rehabilitation on lines of Asia's biggest slum area, Dharavi, in Mumbai, by allowing free floor space index (FSI) in lieu of building free apartments for slum dwellers. The new policy does not just seeks to relax this further, but allow what it calls “Swiss route”, under which the developer will bypass the competitive bidding process.
Of course, the policy does say that “to develop slums, the private developers will be have to go into “the conventional two-bid system”. However, it is quick to add, there will be a Swiss challenge route, too, in “exceptional cases”, under which no bids will be required because the under it the project would be “involving innovation”.
The policy speaks of powers with all new authorities to “review and make an an inventory of status of slum areas and lands in urban areas for provision of dwelling units for slum rehabilitation”. The authorities will have the right to “demolish buildings unfit for human habitation in a slum area”, to “rehabilitate and redevelop slum area”, to “formulate schemes for rehabilitation of slum area”, to “declare any slum area to be slum clearance area”, to “get slum rehabilitation scheme implemented”, and to “partner with private sector , slum dweller community and NGOs for implementation of slum rehabilitation schemes.”
Even as saying that it “may” involve “experts to facilitate” slum rehabilitation, the policy says, the authority will have powers to “notify any area in an urban area occupied by slum dwellers as a slum area and further as a ‘slum rehabilitation area’ for the purpose of rehabilitation of that slum.” In case the slum-dwellers have any objection, they will be allowed to represent to this authority alone.
“The SRA shall, on the merits resolve the grievance(s) by giving direction to the developer or any other persons related to slum rehabilitation”, the policy says, adding, any person aggrieved by the order of the SRA “may, within 21 days of the publication of such order”, prefer an appeal to the GAHSRA, headed by the CM, and its “decision” will be final.
In the section on “strategies of slum rehabilitation”, the policy says that the “private developers will be incentivized” to redevelop slums “on public land as a preferred option”. However, if the “private developers do not come forward, rehabilitation of notified slums will be undertaken by the concerned the SRA”.
As for the slums on private land, the “owner of the slum land will have the first opportunity to rehabilitate the slum”, the policy says, adding, “Any other private developer may buy development rights from the owner of the slum area to rehabilitate the slum.” It further adds, “The owner may surrender his land to the SRA for slum rehabilitation, in lieu of which he shall be compensated by payment of 50 per cent of bid amount received for land.”
The private developers, the policy says, would be allowed “FSI of 3 on slum rehabilitation plot”. But this would “not form the basis for computation of free sale development.” However, if “a part of slum rehabilitation plot remains unutilized after slum rehabilitation, it shall be available to private developer for development for free sale as he deems fit. Total permissible free sale development shall be a sum of two components – built up area of slum rehabilitation” and built up area as per the maximum permissible free FSI of 1.8 computed with respect to slum rehabilitation plot.”
In the section on “slum community participation”, the draft policy says it “shall be ensured at every stage”, adding, “For effective planning and implementation by the selected developer, NGOs/CBOs may be engaged by the developer for participation of slum community and their smooth rehabilitation.” It adds, “community participation” would be “sought” by seeking “cooperation in mapping, survey, registration and creation of database leading to preparation of slum rehabilitation scheme plan”, “micro-planning during preparation of slum rehabilitation scheme”, and “implementation and operation and maintenance of the rehabilitated slum.”
Among the “options” to be provided to the slum dwellers include allotment of a dwelling unit in the in-situ slum rehabilitation scheme (SRS)”, but in case the “beneficiary chooses not to be so rehabilitated within SRS then the beneficiary shall be entitled to get rehabilitated in any private affordable housing scheme prescribed within the same city by the selected developer.” The policy adds, “The allottee or his legal heirs shall not transfer the dwelling unit for at least 20 years from the date of getting the possession.”
---
For full text of the new draft slum policy, click HERE

Comments

TRENDING

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Critics of your government should not be in jail: PUCL shoots open letter to Modi

Counterview Desk In an open letter, Ravikiran Jain, national president, and Dr V Suresh, general secretary, People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) have taken strong exception to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s view that raising human rights issues can ‘tarnish’ the country’s reputation, stating, those who raise human rights concerns do it “through established United Nations mechanisms such as the UN Human Rights Council, the Office of the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights.”

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

When judges behave more like priests, delivering sermons from high podium...

By Ajit Singh*  The theory of separation of power found its origins in ancient Greece but with the passage of time it became widespread in other parts of Europe. Early proponent of the theory Greek philosopher Aristotle in “Politics” argued that implementation of constitution in letter and spirit can only be possible if the three elements among whom the power has been distributed are well arranged.

Covid appropriate behaviour? Why masks can't be suitable in hot, humid climate

By Dr Amitav Banerjee* Appearances can be deceptive. So can be Covid Appropriate Behaviour (CAB). An anecdote illustrates this well known cliché. A man who is very particular about hygiene decides to eat out. After a rather long search, he spots a restaurant which has a spotlessly clean exterior and he walks in.

Muck being thrown in Uttarakhand rivers: Villagers face 'existential' crisis

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  The Uttarakhand government must act fast to clear the path of Dhauli Ganga river about two kilometres ahead of village Neeti and about one kilometre from Ghamsali village, which is about 90 kilometer from Joshi Math town in district Chamoli. The creation of an artificial lake due to throwing of muck and mud can create a catastrophic situation like what happened on February 7, 2021-- the Rishi Ganga-Dhauli Ganga tragedy at Tapovan and Raini village in which over 200 people lost their life.

How Indore turned into water minus city after authorities 'managed' Water Plus title

Water harvester cleaning up hyacinth from an Indore river By Rahul Banerjee*  Recently, the city of Indore was declared the first Water Plus city in India under the Swachh Sarvekshan programme of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development for its ostensibly exemplary waste water management. However, the reality is quite different as a detailed study of the prevailing wastewater management situation in the city shows.

UP govt 'ignoring' demand to fill up teachers' posts despite unemployment: Rights groups

Sandeep Pandey with Shikha Pal Counterview Desk  Commenting on the unique protest undertaken by Shikha Pal atop an overhead water tank for nearly four months, the Socialist Party (India), in association with several civil rights group, Yuva Shakti Sangathan, Socialist Yuvjan Sabha and Rihai Manch, have wondered why has the Yogi Adityanath government is so “insensitive” towards her demands and is looking the “other way.”

Restricting use of public places for religious purpose: Will Gehlot govt respect HC order?

By Kavita Srivastava*  The People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), Rajasthan, has welcomed the judgment of the Rajasthan High Court dismissing the petition by Pooja Gurnani which challenged a circular of the Rajasthan government which restrained the construction of a ‘Pooja Sthal’ in the premises of a police station.

Rehabilitation site 'offered' to 6000 displaced Khori villagers not livable: Team Saathi

By Our Representative  Second round of the Chitthi Andolan (letter movement) of the Khori village residents, whose more than 6,000 houses were demolished as they were allegedly built on forest land, has begun, with hundreds of them telling the authorities of the Municipal Corporation, Faridabad, that no one has received the promised financial assistance of meagre Rs 2,000.