‘We will achieve a slum-free Mumbai, bring them in mainstream’
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Swatee Kher: There is still confusion regarding eligibility for slum rehabilitation, especially for the airport expansion. In the meantime, slums are increasing in the city.
nk: How will slums increase? Is there even a square foot of land in the city for slums to come up? If we search for even 200 square feet of land for a welfare centre, toilet in slums or toilet blocks, we don't get land. I agree that the distance between the slums and the airport is short and it is a security concern. We have to secure that and many times I have written to the ATS and police to ensure proper vigil. When we want to make a world-class city, we have to ensure that even the slumdwellers are properly rehabilitated.
Swatee Kher: The Chief Minister made two important decisions regarding slumdwellers and their eligibility before elections this year. What is the status on it now? Has a new survey been ordered?
PAP (Project-Affected Persons) get protection till 2000 but the structure is not protected. This is causing conflict. If the structure is built in 1995 and bought in 2001, then they are not eligible. There is an injustice to slumdwellers owing to this discrepancy due to our Government Resolution. We want to change the GR to ensure that the structure is protected till 2000, and even if the person is living now, they are eligible for the rehabilitation.
Swatee Kher: Will (it) be applicable for all projects? For entire Mumbai?
Definitely, it has to be applicable for all slums in Mumbai.
Zeeshan Shaikh: There are complaints that the houses are being divided with internal partitions. How will that be handled?
There can be a way in which this can be worked out. The minimum area of a hutment, usually around 10X12 feet, is defined and identified. Experts and collectors can define this. There is some mischievous behaviour. Let there be a collector and a MMRDA vigilance committee be formed. BMC should not allow new slums to be formed. They have been given powers to ensure that illegal structures do not come up.