Mumbai’s neighboring city Thane has seen phenomenal growth in recent times, yet it is also a maze of dangerous and illegal structures thanks to unchecked development. But there is hope around the corner, with the Maharashtra government announcing a cluster redevelopment policy for the region.
The Need to Redevelop Thane’s Ruined Buildings
Thane city contains more than 2,600 dilapidated buildings, with most in danger of collapsing come the monsoons. The thousands of families living in these buildings have no choice but to stay on as redevelopment of these properties is a bureaucratic nightmare with no clear policy in place to attract private developers. The Maharashtra government’s new cluster development policy changes this by laying out a framework to develop Thane in a planned manner, while rehousing people living in ruined structures.
Key Features of Thane’s Cluster Development Policy
– Under this policy, the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) will develop 8 test clusters.
– Private developers will have to choose a cluster which is a minimum of 8,000 sq. meters in size.
– An FSI of 4 will be offered as incentive to private developers to bring them in.
– People living in slums will get homes of 269 sq. feet each.
– People living in dilapidated buildings will get homes of 323 sq. feet each.
– Developers will need consent of 70% of a cluster’s inhabitants before starting work.
Planning for Thane’s Future
If everything goes as planned, Thane city could be set for a radical makeover in the next 10 years. But cluster redevelopment projects are more complicated than other redevelopment projects due to the sheer size of the clusters involved. While getting 70% consent will be one of the bigger challenges, the Thane Municipal Corporation will also have to upgrade existing infrastructure in the region to accommodate a fast-growing population. And they will have to consider giving significant tax sops and benefits to private developers so that adequate affordable housing stock is built.
Ashwini Priolker, Reporter, NDTV
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