With the onset of COVID pandemic economic activities have been facing a rough patch and the Housing For All mission of the Government of India was no exception to it. To address how development authorities & corporations are making collective efforts and contributing to the mission of ‘Housing for All’, Elets Technomedia Pvt. Ltd. organised National Housing Summit on August 26, 2020.
Rajendra Nimbalkar, Chief Executive Officer, Slum Rehabilitation Authority, Pune, Maharashtra, commenced his address with a brief on the Slum Rehabilitation Authority. Speaking on slums he said, “Slums are the result of urbanisation and urbanisation has posed various challenges before us such as providing houses for those slum dwellers. However, these slums also contribute to the city’s improvement in terms of the labour market. So because of the paucity of the funds and resources at the government level.”
The basic objective of Slum Rehabilitation Scheme is that land is taken as a major resource and developers are invited. These developers build houses under the PPP model and provide these for free to the people. In-return the authority provides the developers with higher FSI and on that basis, they can sell some portion to the open market and compensate their expenses, he added.
Further, he said, “Since 2005, in Pune, we are providing free houses to the slum dwellers. The developer puts its resources in the form of money and material required. Along with the housing units, the developer also provides various amenities like balwadi, society office, welfare centre, etc. The developer is compensated for its expenses in the form of pre-sale component.” The area allowed to be sold in the open market is almost two to three times of the area he constructed. Also, the FSI provided is more than the usual, he added.
Addressing the benefits given to the people for housing, Nimbalkar said, “Those who were registered before 2001 have been provided free houses. However, those who register between 2001 to 2011 have been provided the houses at constriction cost which is fairly lower than market prices. And, those registered after 2011 gets no benefit.”
However, with the help of these houses, the slum dwellers were introduced to better health, cleaner environment and self-respect for them. Also, the free houses were a form of social justice to them, he added.
Resting his words, he said, “Since 2005 to 2020 we have handed around 25,000 houses to the slum dwellers of Pune and Pimpi Chinchwad. Almost 25 per cent of the city population which amounts to two lakh families and around 15 lakh population are slum dwellers. So we are developing a new policy for helping these people and provide them with benefits for housing.”