MUMBAI: Over a year after top builders executing projects under the BMC, Mhada and other planning authorities were allowed to pay premiums in instalments, the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) on Monday issued a circular extending the benefit to its developers.
State urban development (UD) minister Eknath Shinde had approved the move in March this year after the BJP threatened to protest if the file was not approved. However, the SRA issued a circular only on Monday.
According to the circular signed by M V Waghikar, controller of finance in the SRA, builders can now pay premiums to the SRA in five instalments. One instalment of 10% and four of 22.5% each.
The BJP had hit out at the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government for not extending the instalment facility to SRA developers, and threatened to launch a sit-in protest outside Nirmal building in Nariman Point, where key decisions of the UD department are taken, if the benefit is not given to SRA developers.
BJP MLA Mihir Kotecha, who is the state BJP treasurer, had alleged that the file (to start instalment facility for SRA builders) was stuck in Shinde’s office for three months. “The SRA has finally woken up and issued the circular. This has come one year late. We have seen the importance of having a home with the toilet during the Covid-19 pandemic. The UD department must take decisions that help eliminate slums, and not just help top builders who make luxury housing for the rich,” Kotecha said.
SRA officials said they were waiting for directions from the UD department on whether the rules regarding collection of premiums in instalments will be applicable to the SRA too. “We issued the circular after the UD clarified that the SRA can give the same facility as the BMC,” said an official.