Mumbai

10-member panel to look into SRA delays

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Committee set up to resolve long-pending complaints, inquire into allegations of corruption

The State government has set up a 10-member committee to ensure speedy disposal of complaints pending with the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA), including cases of corruption in the housing projects.

The committee, whose members have not yet been named, will comprise elected representative and architects and will also be authorised to conduct inquiries into alleged malpractices in SRA projects, senior government officials said. If successful, the committee’s ambit could be extended across other housing agencies in the State.

Pending projects

Nearly 1,000 of the 1,513 SRA projects currently under way are stuck for various reasons, including lack of funds with the developer or complaints by tenants. The projects not being completed have meant that the fate of nearly one lakh slum dwellers hangs in the balance.

The committee’s decisions on pending complaints and inquiries into allegations will remain binding on the SRA administration. Its focus will be Mumbai and its surrounding areas.

“A meeting to form such a committee was held during the winter session of the Assembly. We have taken a decision to set up one,” Cabinet Minister Jayant Patil said.

The issue of delays in SRA schemes and other housing projects was also raised by MLC Kiran Pawaskar in the Council last week. He urged the government to look into the delays, while also focusing on corruption in the projects. “There are times when the builders also suffer in the projects, but only corruption cases get the limelight,” the MLC had said in the House.

Housing experts, however, said the committee will mainly help resolve long-pending problems due to conflicts between slum dwellers and developers.

‘Can streamline issues’

Raju Korde, convener of the Dharavi Bachao Andolan Samiti, said such a committee could help resolve complaints made against builders under Section 13(2) of the Slum Act. Nearly 2,700 complaints in various projects are pending, he said.

“This section empowers tenants to oust the builder from the scheme in case of malpractice or mismanagement. But thousands of such complaints are pending before the District Collector. Overall, an expert committee could streamline these issues,” he said.

“There are other reasons for delays, such as pending sanctions and projects not meeting the criteria. If the committee can handle and resolve these issues then projects can proceed in a time-bound manner,” Mr. Korde said.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2020 12:22:46 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/10-member-panel-to-look-into-sra-delays/article30398638.ece

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