Maharashtra Gives Housing Authority More Powers To Redevelop Old, Unsafe Buildings
NDRF personnel carry out rescue operation at the incident site after collapse of the four-storey Kesarbai building at Dongri in Mumbai. (Photographer: Mitesh Bhuvad/PTI)

Maharashtra Gives Housing Authority More Powers To Redevelop Old, Unsafe Buildings

The Maharashtra cabinet approved new guidelines giving the state housing authority more powers to redevelop old buildings in South Mumbai, two months after 14 people were killed after an old structure collapsed.

The cabinet has given approval to amendments to Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority Act of 1976 to make the authority the planning authority for the redevelopment of dilapidated cessed buildings in the island city, according to a statement by the chief minister’s office. These are old structures that pay a cess or a tax used to create a repair fund.

Last month, a nearly century-old building collapsed in Dongri, one of the most crowded parts of the city. While it led to action against illegal extensions, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis promised changes in the law to pave the way for redeveloping such unsafe buildings.

Mumbai has 14,207 cessed buildings across Mahim-Colaba or the island city. The Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority will take over and complete the redevelopment of cessed buildings where the developer has stalled the project and stopped paying rent to residents.

For the buildings that have received notice from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation declaring them “very dangerous”, the owners or residents will be given six months to submit their proposal for redevelopment, failing which MHADA will acquire the society for redevelopment.

Changes will be made in the Development Control and Promotional Regulations 2034 to allow cluster redevelopment in the areas where non-cessed buildings are adjacent to the cessed buildings, the statement said.

The government will soon issue guidelines to decide criteria for selecting developers for redevelopment of cessed buildings, opening an escrow account, creating a monitoring committee, among other things.

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