Most of the buildings in Mumbai are old and in dire need of repair. Redeveloping these buildings is the only way people can live in safe, modern homes, but that is easier said than done thanks to the sheer amount of red tape involved. How do we make redevelopment in the city easier? Here are 5 suggestions.
1) Encourage self-Redevelopment
Most delays happen when societies are unable to attract and choose good developers. Instead, the government should run campaigns educating societies to go in for self-redevelopment, a process through which they can choose a contractor and appoint project consultants to oversee construction. This gives you more bang for your buck, since you don’t have to give up land to the developer. Many banks in Mumbai are already giving loans for societies that choose to use this model.
2) Implement Cluster Redevelopment policy
Private developers usually don’t find redevelopment projects lucrative. Implementing the cluster development policy can help. For instance, the Maharashtra government has rolled out a cluster redevelopment policy in the Thane region, offering Floor-Space Index (FSI) of 4 to attract developers. If the government can implement this in other suburbs as well, it can help thousands of people living in dilapidated homes.
3) Make It Easier to Convert Leasehold Land to freehold
Another way to boost redevelopment is to make the conversion of leasehold land to freehold easier. Many housing societies are built on leasehold land, which need to be converted to freehold in order to go in for redevelopment. The government recently decided to convert Class II and leasehold lands to freehold by amending the Maharashtra Land Revenue Code of 1966. But the government has still not decided what premium it will charge for this conversion. If the government makes this and other procedures in the process clear, it will help speed up the process.
4) Bring In Laws To Prosecute Errant Builders
Many redevelopment projects in Mumbai are stuck because the developer has stopped work because they have run out of money or flouted development rules, leading to sanctions against their project. In many cases, the developer also stops giving monthly rentals to home owners who are staying on rent until their new homes are completed. The government should prosecute these builders and set an example to discourage others from doing the same thing, thereby bringing back home owner confidence in the process.
5) Hold Government Officers Accountable
And last, but definitely not the least is holding the bureaucracy accountable for delays. In many cases, developers are often bogged down in red tape, as government officers delay giving approvals on time in order to get bribes. The government should crack down on this immediately and come up with fixed timelines and a more transparent system of approvals. Otherwise, redevelopment in the maximum city will remain dead in the water.
Edited by Nikhil Narayan Sivadas, NDTV