It has scrapped a 2019 GR that, many developers said, had impractical conditions. Now, developers will not be required to deposit massive sums in escrow accounts to get a redevelopment NOC. They will only have to deposit 10% of the ready reckoner rate of the total proposed construction area in the form of a bank guarantee or fixed deposit in a nationalised bank.
The 2019 GR had stalled redevelopment of dilapidated cessed buildings. The new rules are a welcome move. While conditions of redevelopment have been relaxed, there must be a timebound plan forredevelopment. Mhada must ensure timely redressal of grievances of residents and take penal action against developers for delays after issuing of NOCs. At the same time, Mhada must regulate and monitor the quality of construction strictly.
GR that had stalled redevpt of cessed bldgs scrapped
The state housing department scrapped a controversial government resolution (GR), passed in September 2019, which had stalled redevelopment of such structures, and issued new rules for redevelopment of cessed buildings that are regulated by Mhada on Monday.
Several developers had pointed out that redevelopment of Mhada buildings had come to a standstill since the old GR laid down several impractical conditions for builders seeking to redevelop them. One of these was that any builder who wants to redevelop a cessed building should have had a turnover of Rs 10-50 crore in three years. Another condition made it mandatory for the builder to have constructed 500 houses to be eligible to redevelop a cessed building.
“If the landlord himself is developing the property or the housing society then they won’t have to show any previous building experience. If the owner is a developer then there will be some norms of previous construction experience. This will also apply if the owners or landlords sign an agreement with a builder for redevelopment,” an official said.
Samajwadi Party MLA and corporator Rais Shaikh took up the issue of the NOCs last year with housing minister Jitendra Awhad.
“In many cases, such as that of Byculla’s Abdullah Mansion, the builder had submitted a proposal and was waiting for an NOC. But no NOCs were being issued because of the 2019 GR. The conditions were so stringent and impractical that no small or medium-sized builder could fulfil them. Scrapping of the old GR is a welcome move. All NOCs that were put on hold must be fasttracked now,” Shaikh said.
Amin Patel, Congress MLA from Mumbadevi, said scrapping the GR and issuing new guidelines was a good decision. “Given the Covid-19 pandemic, norms for redevelopment must be relaxed and builders must be given concessions so that redevelopment can move forward,” Patel said.
Mhada officials said there are about 14,000 cessed buildings in the city, many of which are in urgent need of redevelopment. A cessed building is one which pays a cess or tax, which is actually a repair fund. These buildings are owned by private landlords and regulated by the Bombay Rent Control Act. Most are in south and central Mumbai, where structures date back to the pre-Independence era.