The Ministry of housing and urban affairs is examining Maharashtra government’s proposal to include the slum redevelopment scheme houses under the central government’s affordable housing scheme, a senior government official said. The move, according to the state government would boost the numbers for the Centre’s flagship ‘housing for all’ mission, the official said. “We are examining Maharashtra’s proposal. These lands (in slum areas) in Mumbai are extremely costly…The government actually gets a lot of money once these comes out and redevelops,” the official said. The Maharashtra government had initially decided to exclude slum redevelopment in Mumbai and a few other cities from the Centre’s ‘housing for all’ mission formulated under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY). This was mainly because the state government offers free housing to slum dwellers eligible under its slum redevelopment scheme, while PMAY offers subsidised housing with the beneficiary having to shell out some amount.
However, the state housing department has sent a proposal to the central ministry to allow it to include houses built under its slum redevelopment scheme in the PMAY. According to the state government, the nature of the slum redevelopment scheme will not change. It would still run as a free housing scheme even if it is brought under the PMAY. Before formally adopting PMAY in December 2015, the Devendra Fadnavis-led government had set an ambitious target to build 19 lakh affordable houses in Maharashtra by 2022. Until now, the government has approved around 1.12 lakh houses. Launched in 1995, the slum redevelopment scheme has been a laggard, barely managing to rehabilitate a little over 1.5 lakh families until now. Under the PMAY, the Union government provides funding of Rs 1.5 lakh for every tenement and the state government tops it up with Rs 1 lakh. The state government has also requested the Centre to deposit the Rs 1.5 lakh subsidy it grants under PMAY with the state government for every house built under scheme.
By Surbhi Prasad