According to estimates, at least 50,000 families haven't got rent for several months, in some instances even years, in these 150 projects.

 

MUMBAI: Publishing a list of 150 slum rehabilitation projects in the city where tenants have not been paid rent for months or even years, the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) has told the builders to clear the pending dues and submit an affidavit within a month's time.

 

In case of non-compliance, the SRA will issue stop-work notices to the sale component of the said SRA scheme. "If they still don't pay the rent, we will initiate change of developer proceedings under Section 13 (2) of the SRA Act," said a senior official. "Also, the developer will not be able to submit any new scheme as some builders have multiple SRA projects.The developer will also be declared a defaulter."

 

According to estimates, at least 50,000 families haven't got rent for several months, in some instances even years, in these 150 projects. The rent amount, which is agreed upon by the slumdwellers and builders, varies from project to project - from Rs 12,000 per unit to Rs 20,000. Each slum unit has an average of five persons, so the total number of people affected by non-payment of rent is around 2.5 lakh.

 

SRA CEO Satish Lokhande said the agency was undertaking a special drive to ensure that slumdwellers get rent. "We were receiving complaints about non-payment of rent, so this time we have started a special and intense drive. We hope developers will comply and pay rent and dues or else action will be taken. Approvals and permissions are no longer an issue, but the backlog of rent was huge, so this drive was started," he said.

 

Most of the 150 projects are major SRA schemes with a minimum 100 tenants; and a few have over 2,000 tenants, said a senior official. "Once the slumdwellers vacate their homes, they are supposed to get a fixed monthly rent from the builder till they get a unit in the rehabilitation component of the SRA project. The developers also build the sale component and this cross-subsidises the slum rehabilitation," added the official.

 

Nearly 2.1 lakh families in Mumbai have got new apartments in the last 24 years since the SRA was formed. According to SRA estimates, there are 12.5 lakh slums in the city housing a population of 62 lakh.

 

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, in the last two-and-a-half years while a record approvals were given, the highest number of slum rehabilitation units has been completed too.