India is home to millions of people who live in slums, which are informal settlements that lack basic amenities and security of tenure. Slums are often overcrowded, unhealthy, and unsafe for the residents. To address this issue, the government of India has launched various schemes to provide affordable housing and improve the living conditions of slum dwellers. One of these schemes is the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) program, which aims to redevelop slums into planned and sustainable habitats.
Launched in Maharashtra, SRA flats for sale are enabling thousands to fulfil their dreams of owning a proper roof above their heads. Let us take a closer look at the initiative.
SRA is a statutory body established in 1995 under the Maharashtra Slum Areas (Improvement, Clearance and Redevelopment) Act, 1971. The main objective of SRA is to implement the Slum Rehabilitation Scheme (SRS), which involves relocating slum dwellers to free and permanent flats in multi-storey buildings constructed by private developers on the same or nearby land. The developers are given incentives such as additional floor space index (FSI), transferable development rights (TDR), and tax exemptions to undertake these projects. The SRA also provides basic infrastructure and amenities such as water supply, drainage, electricity, roads, and community facilities to the rehabilitated slums.
The SRA follows a participatory approach that involves the consent and cooperation of slum dwellers, developers, and local authorities. The process of SRA is as follows:
- Identification of slum: The SRA identifies eligible slums for redevelopment based on certain criteria such as location, size, density, tenure status, environmental impact, etc. The slums should be notified under the Maharashtra Slum Areas Act or declared as slums by the competent authority.
- Formation of cooperative society: The slum dwellers form a cooperative housing society (CHS) and elect their representatives to negotiate with the developers and the SRA. The CHS should have at least 70% consent of the eligible slum dwellers for the redevelopment project.
- Selection of developer: The CHS invites proposals from interested developers and selects one based on their financial and technical capabilities, experience, reputation, etc. The developer should have a valid registration with the SRA and comply with its norms and guidelines.
- Approval of project: The developer submits a detailed project report (DPR) to the SRA for approval. The DPR should include the project's layout plan, building plan, cost estimate, time frame, etc. The SRA scrutinises the DPR and grants a letter of intent (LOI) to the developer after ensuring its feasibility and viability.
- Relocation of slum dwellers: The developer arranges temporary accommodation for the slum dwellers during the construction period. The accommodation should be within a 3 km radius of the original site and have basic facilities such as water, electricity, sanitation, etc. The developer also pays a monthly rent allowance to the slum dwellers as per the SRA norms.
- Construction of flats: The developer constructs free flats for the slum dwellers as per the approved plan. The flats should have a minimum carpet area of 269 sq. ft. (25 sq. m.) and have provisions for the kitchen, toilet, balcony, etc. The developer also constructs saleable flats for commercial purposes on a portion of the land per the FSI norms.
- Allotment of flats: The SRA allots flats to eligible slum dwellers through a lottery system. The allotment is done on a random basis without any preference or discrimination. The slum dwellers get ownership rights over their flats after paying a nominal amount of Rs 1000 as stamp duty and registration fees.
- Maintenance of flats: The CHS is responsible for maintaining the flats and paying for common expenses such as water charges, electricity bills, security services, etc. The CHS can also avail of loans from banks or other institutions for repairs or improvements of their flats.
The SRA program, and all the SRA properties developed under its umbrella, have several benefits for different stakeholders, such as:
- Slum dwellers: They get a dignified and secure living environment with basic amenities like water, electricity, sanitation, etc. They also get a legal title to their new homes and are protected from eviction and exploitation.
- Developers: They get an opportunity to develop prime land in urban areas and sell the surplus tenements in the open market at a premium. They also get various incentives like additional FSI, tax exemptions, fast-track approvals, etc.
- Government: It saves on the cost of providing infrastructure and services to slums and improves the urban landscape and environment. It also generates revenue from stamp duty, registration fees, property tax, etc.
- Society: It reduces social problems like crime, disease, poverty, etc. and enhances social integration and harmony. It also promotes inclusive and sustainable urban development and contributes to the national goal of Housing for All.
All in all, initiatives like SRA can potentially transform our country on a larger scale by developing the real estate sector for universal accessibility and affordability. By ensuring that everyone gets a deserved and dignified home to reside in, such initiatives can help Indian society progress at an accelerated pace.
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