Slum Rehabilitation / Redevelopment Schemes in Mumbai – A Unique Way to upgrade the slum settlements of Mumbai

Mumbai city is a large metropolitan city of India. It has a population density of 30000 persons / sq km, which is relatively very high. Housing such a large population is a major challenge for a city which is constrained by topography due to the peninsular share of city and large coastal marshland. Besides high population the cost of housing unit is very high in Mumbai due to the restrictive development control regulations that limit the development density to low levels. Further there are multiple regulations imposed on the development of land and housing in Mumbai, which restrict the housing options for citizens. As a result, the cost of housing tends to be very high and out of reach of the middle-income groups, leaving aside LIG and EWS. There is a lack of affordable housing option for the urban poor, which is one of the major challenges that they face when India is on accelerated urbanisation growth. The slum population of Mumbai is as high as 55% due to the housing problem, especially for the urban poor who are forced to live in slum settlements. This has been highlighted in the recent Indian Urban Poverty Report. Slum settlements in Mumbai are not a new phenomenon but they have been present historically for a very long time ever since industrialisation that peaked during 1960s. These slums are characterised by unhygienic and poor sanitation condition and are also vulnerable natural and manmade calamities.

Given the high proportion of slums, the GoM appointed a committee in 1995 to devise a scheme to rehabilitate slum dwellers in slums existent as of 1/1/1995 to ameliorate the problems of slum dwellers. Based on the recommendation and proposal of the committee, the SRA was founded through a Government notification dated 16/12/1995 with effect from 25/12/1995.

The Slum Rehabilitation Schemes in Mumbai:

The SRA has sought to achieve slum rehabilitation in Mumbai by adopting an approach of undertaking SRA schemes in various parts of the city. Three types of SRA schemes are permissible:

  1. In situ scheme under the provisions of DCR 33(10) – In such schemes, the slums are rehabilitated on the same site where they exist.
  2. 33 (11) scheme (PAP) – Under such schemes, an owner of vacant unencumbered land can use it for construction of tenements for PAP for which the land owner gets compensated in the form of TDR for utilising his/her land an also for undertaking construction of tenements.
  3. 33(14) Schemes (Transit Schemes) – Such schemes allow the land owner to consume the existing FSI potential of the land owned by him/her. The additional potential of 1.5 for suburbs, 1.66 for difficult area and 1.00 for island city is granted under this scheme.

Most of the SRS projects in Mumbai fall under the 33(10) schemes whereas the 33(11) is for public infrastructure projects involving large scale displacement.

Evaluation of SRS in Mumbai:

While considering that the slums are an integral part of the Mumbai, The GoM has introduced various schemes for the betterment of the slums since 1956. The SRS is more recent rehabilitation scheme program to provide housing to the urban poor living in slums.

The redevelopment of slums should have led to the overall development of community and made meaningful impact on their living environments through physical improvements, socio economic upliftment, improved living conditions.

Slum rehabilitation / redevelopment is essential for improving housing in a large metro city like Mumbai. It is required for uplifting the living conditions of slum dwellers. The SRA has taken leadership role while also serving as a planning authority and with the help of developers there are scores of slum rehabilitation / redevelopment schemes ongoing. The impact evaluation analysis of SRS projects indicates that much of the emphasis has been made on the physical infrastructure. Physical infrastructure has improved remarkably in terms of water supply, sanitation, solid waste management, public health and electricity. This has improved the habitat, quality of life and living conditions.

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