[Urbanstudy] 'Altered' draft housing policy raises concerns in Mumbai

Vinay Baindur yanivbin at gmail.com
Fri May 15 12:49:14 CDT 2015


'Altered' draft housing policy raises concerns in MumbaiClara Lewis
| May 15, 2015, 01.52 AM

MUMBAI: The draft housing policy being circulated by the state housing
department is different in format and content from what was discussed and
finalized by a 20-member consultative committee. There are several
surprises in the draft policy, said sources.

The sources alleged that the version being circulated to legislators and
members of Parliament has the imprint of a controversial builder who
attended the meeting held at Lonavla and was introduced as a representative
of the Maharashtra Chamber of Housing and Industry (MCHI). Most elected
representatives TOI spoke to said they are yet to receive a copy of the

"The committee met from mid-February to April 5. After every meeting, an
improvised version of the draft was circulated. In all, four drafts were
prepared. The draft housing policy being circulated is completely different
from what was deliberated and decided," said a source.

Another source said the government had pro-active discussions with the
building industry while completely ignoring other stakeholders. "The
proposal for slum redevelopment is very different from what has been
discussed. There was no discussion on the amendments to the Rent Control
Act, but there is a complete chapter on this issue," said the source.

One of the proposals of the builder to create smart-city centres as he owns
land in Panvel has been incorporated in the housing policy, alleged

*Housing minister Prakash Mehta has been vocal about not being kept in the
loop. He has complained that housing secretary Satish Gavai has not met him
even once after taking charge. Gavai is currently on leave. When TOI asked
Mehta about the rift, he said, "Mala secretary chi garaz nahi. (I do not
need a secretary)."*
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