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Practical Solution for a Slum-free Mumbai

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  • karmayog
    by shailesh gandhi 022 26001003; 8976240798 shaileshgan@gmail.com Right to Housing Right to housing has been declared to be a basic right for all people, and
    Message 1 of 2 , Mar 2, 2013
    • 0 Attachment

      by shailesh gandhi

      022 26001003; 8976240798   shaileshgan@...

      Right to Housing

             Right to housing has been declared to be a basic right for all people, and yet,-particularly in the large urban centers,- it has been found almost impossible to implement this right meaningfully. I am reasonably familiar with the situation in Mumbai as also the frauds masquerading as solutions towards this problem. I shall attempt here to offer a tentative framework which could perhaps act as a starting point for this exercise. I know about Mumbai, and am therefore focusing on a solution for this City, but this could have some pointers to solutions in other urban centers as well.  There will be flaws in the arguments advanced here; but i would urge the reader to think of changes which are necessary to remove the weaknesses in the proposal offered here. Perhaps we can use this to begin a journey towards finding a viable solution.

               Let us start with an attempt to define the issue. It is evident that a significant inflow of people will keep coming to Mumbai and other urban centers, until we address the issue of providing livelihoods to people in the rural areas. In that case, we have to assume that cut-off dates, or any solution to restrict people coming to cities is not an option; these would be illegal and also impossible to implement. There have been various attempts to remove the problem of slums in Mumbai since 1971, but the only consistent result they have obtained is an exponential increase in the slums. The conditions in which the slum dwellers live are dehumanizing, and these become big sources of support for crimes and corruption. The Slum Rehabilitation Scheme was brought in Maharashtra by the Shiv Sena –BJP in 1997 and basically, it sought to depend on the milk of human kindness of private builders to ensure low cost houses for the poor. To implement the scheme, a body called the Slum Redevelopment Authority (SRA) was set up with very vast powers. SRA was given the powers to declare any area as a Slum, and a Slum Redevelopment Scheme could be started there with the concurrence of 70% of the slum dwellers. SRA can take over any land and has virtually been given unchecked powers to deliver this laudable social objective. Traditionally, it has been looked after by the Chief Minister. The scheme is usually initiated by a builder. He has to show the concurrence of 70% of the slum dwellers residing in a location. The concept was that all slum dwellers who were staying in Mumbai before 1995, would be given free housing of 225 square feet (equal to 21 Sq.Mtr.) and an equivalent area could be built and sold by the builder to offset the construction of the free houses to be given to slum dwellers. If the land belonged to the Government it was given free, and if it belonged to a private person, some compensation would be given to him. The private builders do not have any significant milk of human kindness and are more often driven by vile greed. Hence the scheme has failed to make any significant contribution to the problem of housing for the poor. The scheme suffered from a few fatal flaws. First it promised a free house to people based on an arbitrary date on which they were in the City, which evidently lead to a mad scramble to become eligible for the free house. These tenements are worth 5 lacs to 50 lacs at present prices, depending on the area!1 In any urban city, property prices are basically a function of land prices and vary hugely depending on the area. On the other hand, construction cost variation is not really area-linked. For low cost housing the construction cost is in the range of 8000 to 12000 rupees per sq.mtr.  We will take an average price of construction as rupees 10000 per sq. mtr. Thus the equation works in a manner that the developer invests in the construction cost of two tenements-one to be given free for the slum dweller,-and the other which he is free to sell. He invests about 4.2 lacs 2 and could sell the property which is his share for 7.2 lacs to 72 lacs! It is obvious that the main contributor for prices for houses is the land price. The Slum redevelopment  policy does not factor the question of land prices at all. Many other policies,-the market redevelopment policy, the Caretaker Policy and so on,- are designed without any reference to the hugely different land prices. Thus they are designed for arbitrariness and corruption. They invite the greed of human beings. When property prices were much lower a decade back, the scheme did not attract too many takers, but as the property prices have skyrocketed in the last few years, the SRA has attracted all the greedy criminals to adopt a variety of ways to exploit this. If a slum dweller who came to Mumbai say in 1996 can change his data to prove he was in Mumbai a year earlier, he will get a free house worth 7 to 70 lacs! And what about the Citizen who came in 2001? He is expected to live in Mumbai in a slum, and so their tribe will grow. Some people have suggested that Indians who are not Mumbaikars must be banned somehow. This is against the Constitution and is neither feasible nor desirable. It is also an irony that the same people who suggest such hair-brained policies, will welcome foreigners to come to Mumbai! Such approaches cannot work. The Courts in the meanwhile pronounce loftily that shelter is a basic right for everybody. At other times, they authorize demolition of slums! Everybody knows they are not solving any problems, only describing them. With the present SRA schemes, the builders, politicians, officials and mafia have been able to earn fantastic amounts if they can increase the number of fake slum dwellers, take over Public lands by having even one hut there, coercing slum dwellers into acquiescing in their scheme and so on. Well known celebrities too have had their names registered as slum dwellers! SRA has claimed that it has sanctioned 2,31,000 tenements until June, 2007. If we take the average sale price of the free sale component at 40 lacs, and assume that all genuine Slum dwellers are being given their legitimate dwellings and no bogus names have been introduced, the value of the legitimate sale component for developers comes to about 91,000 crores! By introducing fake names, appropriating Public lands where there were no slums, canceling the names of the actual slum dwellers and so on, a great bonus of around  20,000  crores is added to this. Criminal complaints have been filed for forgery, intimidation, criminal assault, bribery, appropriation of Public lands covering almost all the sections of the Indian Penal Code with the Anti-Corruption Bureau, and various police stations across Mumbai. The State Government has officially taken a position that no Police investigations are taking place as required under the Criminal procedure Code since it would affect the morale of its officers! The State is openly implementing the Protection of Corruption Act.

               Having looked at the present scenario, is there a solution which can address the right of people to get a house in Mumbai or such other Urban centers? I believe it is possible to achieve this and am suggesting a possible solution. Perhaps it could be the starting point for a rational search for a resolution. First let us look at the flaws in the present scheme. Any process, which seeks to confer ownership of property worth 7.2 to 72 lacs gratis will give rise to dishonesty amongst Citizens and will be seen by those who do not get this largesse as unfair. It will create the desire to get this by any means. Since it has no rational basis for the profit of the developers, it tempts them to finding ways of illegally increasing their profits to absurd levels. This combination of greed of developers and Citizens is an ideal and fertile ground for spread of lawlessness and corruption. This in turn leads to a vested interest in this arrangement and its continuance, amongst the Public servants, politicians and the mafia. A good recipe for designing corruption, and the attendant illegal activities. Let us first look at what i feel are the fundamental fatal flaws in the assumptions of the present Slum Rehabilitation Schemes. Firstly while we recognize the right of a Citizen to have shelter, it does not imply that this means the right to own a house for free. Secondly, as designed at present it is left to private builders to execute it, with no rational basis for the formula of this supposedly ‘one for one free’ scheme. Land as we all know has varying values depending on location, whereas construction cost variables are much lower. Also, any scheme which looks at arbitrarily conferring special rights on those who came before a particular date, is refusing to look at the issue of migration from rural to urban areas being a fact of life.

                Starting from identifying these issues, i am making the following assumptions to attempt developing a solutions:

      1.     We need to ensure shelter, not ownership of property.

      2.     Citizens in urban areas have some capability of paying and must be made to pay

      for shelter. The fact is most families in slums are presently paying over 300 rupees each month to the slumlords for their meager water and electricity.

      3.     In Mumbai,- and other urban centers,- poor will migrate to the cities. Hence any solution will have to think of those who come in future.

      4.     We need to build enough shelters so that a scarcity does not prevail.

       

                 My basic assumption is that if we provide shelters for about 1 crore people in Mumbai in the next five years, there would be no scarcity. If we build 20 lac tenements of an area of 23 sq. mtrs and 1500 dormitories of 1500 sq. mtrs. with a capacity to house 500 people each, we could meet the housing requirements for the next five years. This would take care of the needs for shelter for about 1.01 crore people. Scarcity of shelter could become history. If the average tenement houses 4.7 people this would mean a capability of housing 94 lac people in tenements and 7.5 lac people in dormitories. Those who wish to stay in tenements could be asked to give Rs. 10000 as a refundable deposit and a lease rental of Rs. 400 could be charged monthly, with an escalation of Rs. 20 each year for a period of 10 years. At the end of 10 years, people must be told that the lease conditions would be renegotiated. Some would hopefully move out into owned flats. It should be possible maintain these tenements at Rs.150 per month which would leave a sum of about 2800 crores annually which could be used to build more facilities ever year.

            For dormitories people could come every evening and for 8 rupees a night, be given a covered shelter to sleep with a bed, toilets and a facility for a bath. At a cost of Rs.8 per person, it would be possible to pay for the maintenance cost of the dormitories A concept of this nature of providing shelters for the homeless exists in Countries like the US as well. Who should undertake this? The State must undertake this, and that is its job. It could get the construction done on contract basis, give the shelters to Citizens, maintain and collect the lease rents. So far, this is sounding like expressions of fond desires. Please read on with some patience.  The total land area required for this would be 22.5 sq. kms.,- on an assumption of a FSI of 2.-spread over Mumbai. Presently according to most data slums are spread over a much larger area.  The cost of construction,- assuming a reasonable Rs. 8000 per sq.mtr.,- will come to about 36 thousand crores.  I am presenting this data in a tabular form below:

       

       

       

       

      Numbers

      Total Builtup Area

      People accommodated

      Construction cost @

      10000 per sq. mtr.

      Tenements

      (23 sq.mts. each)

      20 lacs

      560 lac sq. mtrs.

      94 lacs

      46000 crores

      Dormitories

      ( 1500 sq. mtrs. Each)

      1500

      22.5 lac sq. mtrs.

      7.5 lacs

       2250 crores

      Total

       

      482.5 lac sq. mtrs.

      101.5 lacs

      48250 crores

       

      At 2 FSI  451 lac sq.mtrs. would require 241.25 lac sq.mts. viz. less  24.12 sq.kms. By most accounts the slums are spread over 10% of the 437 sq. kms. of Mumbai.  This means that presently about 43 sq. kms. are already covered by slums. Thus the land is already available and occupied by slums.

                The State must undertake this project and get the construction done through contractors, and so called Public-Private partnerships will only lead to a one-way transaction; the Public gives and the private developers take. The questions that naturally come to mind are:

      1. Why will it not get hijacked by the affording class moving in?
      2. Where will the money come from?

       

         There are a large number of supposed low-cost houses which are used only by the rich, by combining the tenements. To the first question i think we need to look at designing the tenements in such a manner that they are for those who are presently prepared to live in slums and are willing to forgo some aspirational needs. A private toilet is a strong aspiration for most home owners. The tenements built under such a scheme should have only common toilet blocks, be typically four storeyed-ground plus three and have no lifts. Since the tenements would be leased by Government, and no alterations of any kind would be permitted in the tenements. No painting or any change should be permitted and a coat of whitewash would be applied by the State every alternate year. Incidentally, the chawls in Mumbai have precisely these features, and have housed many people. I believe by refusing to allow all the aspirations of upward moving social classes, it would be possible to ensure it does not get hijacked by those who can afford to buy flats. There may also be other means of ensuring that the tenements cannot be combined. Refusal to confer ownership rights, and a strict adherence to laws,- which could even be specially framed to address the needs of such a scheme,- could make is possible to provide shelter in such abundance that nobody needs to be without shelter. Also, we need to enforce the conditions of lease very seriously, just as private owners of property do presently. We have the land, and it appears possible to provide for shelters for anyone who needs it in Mumbai. However, where will the money come from? I am suggesting one source which has been allowed to bleed Public revenue without any legal or moral justification.

       

                                         Where is the money for this?

           

       

                 Using RTI i have obtained information from the City and Suburban Collectors that 600 acres of land in the island city and 597 acres in the suburbs have lessees whose leases have expired long back and they are being allowed to continue illegal occupation paying the original lease rents. The total lease rent being paid by 553 people occupying 1197 acres of land, without any legal right to occupy these Public lands is about 5.8 crores. If we get the right lease rent for our lands in Mumbai, we could get an additional 1500 crores. Across Maharashtra this figure is likely to be over 8000 crores. If we get our due revenue of 8000 crores annually, we could execute the plan for housing one crore people. In the first 5 years we would need about 36,000 crores, and our revenue could be about 40,000 crores by getting our rightful share of revenue.  The property belongs to us, and is presently in the hands of some lessees illegally, because of connivance and negligence of the Government. A few examples of these: 



      (Message over 64 KB, truncated)

       

       

       

                       

       

       

       

       

      Lease

      Period

      Expired

       

       

       

      Area

      Rent paid

      years

      In

       

      Area

      Name of lessee

      Sq.mtrs.

      Rupees

       

       

       

      Colaba

      Sterling Investment Corporation

      2217

      1

      21

      1959

       

      Mazgaon

      Wallace flour Mills

      29345

      76.81

      99

      1992

       

      Mazagaon

      Shapurji Palonji

      25507

      1644.54

      99

      2002

       

      Mazgaon

      Shivdas Chapsi

      10047

    • iyer_ga
      Shaileshji has analysed the point almost thread bare to drive the point with simple calculations. For all that it appears the mafias conniving with the
      Message 2 of 2 , Mar 5, 2013
      • 0 Attachment
        Shaileshji has analysed the point almost thread bare to drive the point with simple calculations. For all that it appears the mafias conniving with the politicians, , bureaucrats and BMC appears to be having no will as slums are the mythological cow, kamadhenu (who was said to fulfill all needs just for the wish!
        Besides what is recommended by Shaileshji I wish to give my working and suggestions
        No. of people living in slums in Mumbai (assumed) = 1 Cr = 10000000
        Tenements required taking avg.members per family = 10000000/4 = 2500000
        Carpet area of each tenement to be given = 25sq. m= 269 sq.ft.
        Built up area = 25x 1.2 = 30 sq.m = 322 sq.ft

        Present FSI given for Slum development by SRA/Gov = 3.3 (and they are invariably violated causing great inconvenience and adding ugliness to the city and environment besides delay and court cases)
        In reality area occupied by slums =43 km. (as given by Shaileshji) . Hence taking average fsi utility as 3.3 required area is 43/3.3 = 13 sq.km = 13000000 sq.m
        Shaileshji has taken a cost of construction as Rs 10000/sq.m where as I consider 15000 for a more aesthetic construction remembering that we also need to add to the look of the city.
        Cost of construction = 13000000 (1.3 cr)x15000 = Rs.195000000000 =19500cr ……….A
        Surplus land available =43-13 = 30 sq. km.
        There is a surplus of 30 sq. km= 300000000 (3Cr) sq.m , on which the `scavengers' keep the eye on and the `government' and the public are bled!!! In fact the slums are allowed to be manufactured by the land mafia, politicians, BMC and other unscrupulous elements making even open land slums! It is locked in eternal interest crippling the city.
        It is difficult to get land other than what is occupied by slums and it is also not conceivable as to what the cost of land in a land starved Mumbai where the price appearing from sources and what price actually changes hands (together with black amounts)cannot be ascertained. But still there is nothing wrong if one take the average price(bare minimum) in city and suburb at present be taken as anywhere between 3-5lakhs per sq.meter ( though in south of city it is several times higher)!
        Out of the 30 sq.km surplus, reserve 5 sq .km for infrastructural needs like roads, gardens,schools utility installations etc. and the balance available for a barter deal is 25 sq. km
        The 25 sq.km (30-5)surplus available can be easily used to generate the funds required for construction and other infrastructural needs related to the buildings that may be built and for the city to relieve the partly intentional present process of suffocating the city!
        What to do with this 25 sq.km?
        Development potential, taking a moderate FSI of 3 is 25x3 = 75 sq.km= 75000000sq.m
        Developing cost for 75000000sq.m (7.5crsq.m) at the rate of Rs20000 per sq meter (average for residential and or commercial structures work out to 75000000x 20000 =Rs.1500000000000= 150000cr, ………………… B roughly equal to one scam!!
        (Presently developers are selling loading the carpet area by up to 80% which is not taken in this calculation)
        Taking price per sq.m of ready to occupy area ranging any where between Rs60000/ in the distant suburb to Rs 400000 per sq.m in south Mumbai (average works out to Rs230000 per sq m.)( In reality average is much more)
        Total free sale component =75000000sq.m
        Sale value realizable = 75000000x230000 = Rs 17250000000000= 1725000 Cr………….C
        Total construction cost =A+B = 169500 Cr …… D ( an equal amount can be considered for related work on the project till completion)
        Gross gain = C-D = 1725000-169500= 1555500 Cr . ….E
        ( Even if a minimum 25% loading is considered the total is 1555500x 1.25)
        E -above can be shared appropriately by the "government" and the "developer"
        Who should develop?
        • The existing developers should not be in any way associated with the projects
        • The government should give the blue print of approved plans ready to construct and finish after all sanctions and approvals within six months for rehabilitation component.
        • Banks of standing and financial institution to be asked to carry out this by setting up a separate division, the profit generated being enormous compared to what is generated by known banking means. Banks to finance. (Banks can own the share of surplus)
        • Government to ensure security.
        • Employment potential is enormous.
        • Delay, if any, the authority must be responsible.
        • Property price will become affordable.
        • Disputes and court cases related to property would be history.

        This is for the time being,

        Best Regards/ Iyer GA

        --- In karmayog@yahoogroups.com, karmayog <info@...> wrote:
        >
        > by shailesh gandhi
        >
        > 022 26001003; 8976240798 shaileshgan@...
        >
        > Right to Housing
        >
        > Right to housing has been declared to be a basic right for all people, and yet,-particularly in the large urban centers,- it has been found almost impossible to implement this right meaningfully. I am reasonably familiar with the situation in Mumbai as also the frauds masquerading as solutions towards this problem. I shall attempt here to offer a tentative framework which could perhaps act as a starting point for this exercise. I know about Mumbai, and am therefore focusing on a solution for this City, but this could have some pointers to solutions in other urban centers as well. There will be flaws in the arguments advanced here; but i would urge the reader to think of changes which are necessary to remove the weaknesses in the proposal offered here. Perhaps we can use this to begin a journey towards finding a viable solution.
        >
        > Let us start with an attempt to define the issue. It is evident that a significant inflow of people will keep coming to Mumbai and other urban centers, until we address the issue of providing livelihoods to people in the rural areas. In that case, we have to assume that cut-off dates, or any solution to restrict people coming to cities is not an option; these would be illegal and also impossible to implement. There have been various attempts to remove the problem of slums in Mumbai since 1971, but the only consistent result they have obtained is an exponential increase in the slums. The conditions in which the slum dwellers live are dehumanizing, and these become big sources of support for crimes and corruption. The Slum Rehabilitation Scheme was brought in Maharashtra by the Shiv Sena –BJP in 1997 and basically, it sought to depend on the milk of human kindness of private builders to ensure low cost houses for the poor. To implement the scheme, a body called the Slum Redevelopment Authority (SRA) was set up with very vast powers. SRA was given the powers to declare any area as a Slum, and a Slum Redevelopment Scheme could be started there with the concurrence of 70% of the slum dwellers. SRA can take over any land and has virtually been given unchecked powers to deliver this laudable social objective. Traditionally, it has been looked after by the Chief Minister. The scheme is usually initiated by a builder. He has to show the concurrence of 70% of the slum dwellers residing in a location. The concept was that all slum dwellers who were staying in Mumbai before 1995, would be given free housing of 225 square feet (equal to 21 Sq.Mtr.) and an equivalent area could be built and sold by the builder to offset the construction of the free houses to be given to slum dwellers. If the land belonged to the Government it was given free, and if it belonged to a private person, some compensation would be given to him. The private builders do not have any significant milk of human kindness and are more often driven by vile greed. Hence the scheme has failed to make any significant contribution to the problem of housing for the poor. The scheme suffered from a few fatal flaws. First it promised a free house to people based on an arbitrary date on which they were in the City, which evidently lead to a mad scramble to become eligible for the free house. These tenements are worth 5 lacs to 50 lacs at present prices, depending on the area!1 In any urban city, property prices are basically a function of land prices and vary hugely depending on the area. On the other hand, construction cost variation is not really area-linked. For low cost housing the construction cost is in the range of 8000 to 12000 rupees per sq.mtr. We will take an average price of construction as rupees 10000 per sq. mtr. Thus the equation works in a manner that the developer invests in the construction cost of two tenements-one to be given free for the slum dweller,-and the other which he is free to sell. He invests about 4.2 lacs 2 and could sell the property which is his share for 7.2 lacs to 72 lacs! It is obvious that the main contributor for prices for houses is the land price. The Slum redevelopment policy does not factor the question of land prices at all. Many other policies,-the market redevelopment policy, the Caretaker Policy and so on,- are designed without any reference to the hugely different land prices. Thus they are designed for arbitrariness and corruption. They invite the greed of human beings. When property prices were much lower a decade back, the scheme did not attract too many takers, but as the property prices have skyrocketed in the last few years, the SRA has attracted all the greedy criminals to adopt a variety of ways to exploit this. If a slum dweller who came to Mumbai say in 1996 can change his data to prove he was in Mumbai a year earlier, he will get a free house worth 7 to 70 lacs! And what about the Citizen who came in 2001? He is expected to live in Mumbai in a slum, and so their tribe will grow. Some people have suggested that Indians who are not Mumbaikars must be banned somehow. This is against the Constitution and is neither feasible nor desirable. It is also an irony that the same people who suggest such hair-brained policies, will welcome foreigners to come to Mumbai! Such approaches cannot work. The Courts in the meanwhile pronounce loftily that shelter is a basic right for everybody. At other times, they authorize demolition of slums! Everybody knows they are not solving any problems, only describing them. With the present SRA schemes, the builders, politicians, officials and mafia have been able to earn fantastic amounts if they can increase the number of fake slum dwellers, take over Public lands by having even one hut there, coercing slum dwellers into acquiescing in their scheme and so on. Well known celebrities too have had their names registered as slum dwellers! SRA has claimed that it has sanctioned 2,31,000 tenements until June, 2007. If we take the average sale price of the free sale component at 40 lacs, and assume that all genuine Slum dwellers are being given their legitimate dwellings and no bogus names have been introduced, the value of the legitimate sale component for developers comes to about 91,000 crores! By introducing fake names, appropriating Public lands where there were no slums, canceling the names of the actual slum dwellers and so on, a great bonus of around 20,000 crores is added to this. Criminal complaints have been filed for forgery, intimidation, criminal assault, bribery, appropriation of Public lands covering almost all the sections of the Indian Penal Code with the Anti-Corruption Bureau, and various police stations across Mumbai. The State Government has officially taken a position that no Police investigations are taking place as required under the Criminal procedure Code since it would affect the morale of its officers! The State is openly implementing the Protection of Corruption Act.
        >
        > Having looked at the present scenario, is there a solution which can address the right of people to get a house in Mumbai or such other Urban centers? I believe it is possible to achieve this and am suggesting a possible solution. Perhaps it could be the starting point for a rational search for a resolution. First let us look at the flaws in the present scheme. Any process, which seeks to confer ownership of property worth 7.2 to 72 lacs gratis will give rise to dishonesty amongst Citizens and will be seen by those who do not get this largesse as unfair. It will create the desire to get this by any means. Since it has no rational basis for the profit of the developers, it tempts them to finding ways of illegally increasing their profits to absurd levels. This combination of greed of developers and Citizens is an ideal and fertile ground for spread of lawlessness and corruption. This in turn leads to a vested interest in this arrangement and its continuance, amongst the Public servants, politicians and the mafia. A good recipe for designing corruption, and the attendant illegal activities. Let us first look at what i feel are the fundamental fatal flaws in the assumptions of the present Slum Rehabilitation Schemes. Firstly while we recognize the right of a Citizen to have shelter, it does not imply that this means the right to own a house for free. Secondly, as designed at present it is left to private builders to execute it, with no rational basis for the formula of this supposedly `one for one free' scheme. Land as we all know has varying values depending on location, whereas construction cost variables are much lower. Also, any scheme which looks at arbitrarily conferring special rights on those who came before a particular date, is refusing to look at the issue of migration from rural to urban areas being a fact of life.
        >
        > Starting from identifying these issues, i am making the following assumptions to attempt developing a solutions:
        >
        > 1. We need to ensure shelter, not ownership of property.
        >
        > 2. Citizens in urban areas have some capability of paying and must be made to pay
        >
        > for shelter. The fact is most families in slums are presently paying over 300 rupees each month to the slumlords for their meager water and electricity.
        >
        > 3. In Mumbai,- and other urban centers,- poor will migrate to the cities. Hence any solution will have to think of those who come in future.
        >
        > 4. We need to build enough shelters so that a scarcity does not prevail.
        >
        >
        >
        > My basic assumption is that if we provide shelters for about 1 crore people in Mumbai in the next five years, there would be no scarcity. If we build 20 lac tenements of an area of 23 sq. mtrs and 1500 dormitories of 1500 sq. mtrs. with a capacity to house 500 people each, we could meet the housing requirements for the next five years. This would take care of the needs for shelter for about 1.01 crore people. Scarcity of shelter could become history. If the average tenement houses 4.7 people this would mean a capability of housing 94 lac people in tenements and 7.5 lac people in dormitories. Those who wish to stay in tenements could be asked to give Rs. 10000 as a refundable deposit and a lease rental of Rs. 400 could be charged monthly, with an escalation of Rs. 20 each year for a period of 10 years. At the end of 10 years, people must be told that the lease conditions would be renegotiated. Some would hopefully move out into owned flats. It should be possible maintain these tenements at Rs.150 per month which would leave a sum of about 2800 crores annually which could be used to build more facilities ever year.
        >
        > For dormitories people could come every evening and for 8 rupees a night, be given a covered shelter to sleep with a bed, toilets and a facility for a bath. At a cost of Rs.8 per person, it would be possible to pay for the maintenance cost of the dormitories A concept of this nature of providing shelters for the homeless exists in Countries like the US as well. Who should undertake this? The State must undertake this, and that is its job. It could get the construction done on contract basis, give the shelters to Citizens, maintain and collect the lease rents. So far, this is sounding like expressions of fond desires. Please read on with some patience. The total land area required for this would be 22.5 sq. kms.,- on an assumption of a FSI of 2.-spread over Mumbai. Presently according to most data slums are spread over a much larger area. The cost of construction,- assuming a reasonable Rs. 8000 per sq.mtr.,- will come to about 36 thousand crores. I am presenting this data in a tabular form below:
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Numbers
        >
        > Total Builtup Area
        >
        > People accommodated
        >
        > Construction cost @
        >
        > 10000 per sq. mtr.
        >
        > Tenements
        >
        > (23 sq.mts. each)
        >
        > 20 lacs
        >
        > 560 lac sq. mtrs.
        >
        > 94 lacs
        >
        > 46000 crores
        >
        > Dormitories
        >
        > ( 1500 sq. mtrs. Each)
        >
        > 1500
        >
        > 22.5 lac sq. mtrs.
        >
        > 7.5 lacs
        >
        > 2250 crores
        >
        > Total
        >
        >
        >
        > 482.5 lac sq. mtrs.
        >
        > 101.5 lacs
        >
        > 48250 crores
        >
        >
        >
        > At 2 FSI 451 lac sq.mtrs. would require 241.25 lac sq.mts. viz. less 24.12 sq.kms. By most accounts the slums are spread over 10% of the 437 sq. kms. of Mumbai. This means that presently about 43 sq. kms. are already covered by slums. Thus the land is already available and occupied by slums.
        >
        > The State must undertake this project and get the construction done through contractors, and so called Public-Private partnerships will only lead to a one-way transaction; the Public gives and the private developers take. The questions that naturally come to mind are:
        >
        > Why will it not get hijacked by the affording class moving in?
        > Where will the money come from?
        >
        >
        > There are a large number of supposed low-cost houses which are used only by the rich, by combining the tenements. To the first question i think we need to look at designing the tenements in such a manner that they are for those who are presently prepared to live in slums and are willing to forgo some aspirational needs. A private toilet is a strong aspiration for most home owners. The tenements built under such a scheme should have only common toilet blocks, be typically four storeyed-ground plus three and have no lifts. Since the tenements would be leased by Government, and no alterations of any kind would be permitted in the tenements. No painting or any change should be permitted and a coat of whitewash would be applied by the State every alternate year. Incidentally, the chawls in Mumbai have precisely these features, and have housed many people. I believe by refusing to allow all the aspirations of upward moving social classes, it would be possible to ensure it does not get hijacked by those who can afford to buy flats. There may also be other means of ensuring that the tenements cannot be combined. Refusal to confer ownership rights, and a strict adherence to laws,- which could even be specially framed to address the needs of such a scheme,- could make is possible to provide shelter in such abundance that nobody needs to be without shelter. Also, we need to enforce the conditions of lease very seriously, just as private owners of property do presently. We have the land, and it appears possible to provide for shelters for anyone who needs it in Mumbai. However, where will the money come from? I am suggesting one source which has been allowed to bleed Public revenue without any legal or moral justification.
        >
        >
        >
        > Where is the money for this?
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Using RTI i have obtained information from the City and Suburban Collectors that 600 acres of land in the island city and 597 acres in the suburbs have lessees whose leases have expired long back and they are being allowed to continue illegal occupation paying the original lease rents. The total lease rent being paid by 553 people occupying 1197 acres of land, without any legal right to occupy these Public lands is about 5.8 crores. If we get the right lease rent for our lands in Mumbai, we could get an additional 1500 crores. Across Maharashtra this figure is likely to be over 8000 crores. If we get our due revenue of 8000 crores annually, we could execute the plan for housing one crore people. In the first 5 years we would need about 36,000 crores, and our revenue could be about 40,000 crores by getting our rightful share of revenue. The property belongs to us, and is presently in the hands of some lessees illegally, because of connivance and negligence of the Government. A few examples of these:
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Lease
        >
        > Period
        >
        > Expired
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Area
        >
        > Rent paid
        >
        > years
        >
        > In
        >
        >
        >
        > Area
        >
        > Name of lessee
        >
        > Sq.mtrs.
        >
        > Rupees
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Colaba
        >
        > Sterling Investment Corporation
        > 2217
        >
        > 1
        >
        > 21
        >
        > 1959
        >
        >
        >
        > Mazgaon
        >
        > Wallace flour Mills
        >
        > 29345
        >
        > 76.81
        >
        > 99
        >
        > 1992
        >
        >
        >
        > Mazagaon
        >
        > Shapurji Palonji
        >
        > 25507
        >
        > 1644.54
        >
        > 99
        >
        > 2002
        >
        >
        >
        > Mazgaon
        >
        > Shivdas Chapsi
        >
        > 10047
        >
        > 6.57
        >
        > 99
        >
        > 1972
        >
        >
        >
        > Byculla
        >
        > Simplex Mills
        >
        > 7836
        >
        > 48.81
        >
        > 99
        >
        > 1983
        >
        >
        >
        > Malabar Hill
        >
        > Prithvi Cotton Mills
        >
        > 1132
        >
        > 3.53
        >
        > 99
        >
        > 1986
        >
        >
        >
        > Dadar
        >
        > Bharati Cine Enterprises
        >
        > 3470
        >
        > 546.54
        >
        > 50
        >
        > 1976
        >
        >
        >
        > Lower Parel
        >
        > National Rayon Corporation
        >
        > 4427
        >
        > 327.21
        >
        > 21
        >
        > 1985
        >
        >
        >
        > Bandra
        >
        > Gauri Khan & Shahrukh Khan
        >
        > 2446
        >
        > 2325
        >
        > 30
        >
        > 1981
        >
        >
        >
        > Bandra
        >
        > Mrs. Gracy Martha Lopez
        >
        > 27330
        >
        > 1400
        >
        > 30
        >
        > 1981
        >
        >
        >
        > Juhu
        >
        > Sun 'N Sand Hotel
        >
        > 1036
        >
        > 1004.4
        >
        > 2
        >
        > 1970
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > I had filed a complaint with the Chief Secretary of Maharashtra in 2005. He argued that it was difficult for them to get favourable Court orders in these matters. I pointed out to him that the Government regularly acquires lands owned by Citizens even when Citizens do not wish to part with their lands, and hence the Government's claim that they cannot acquire their own land back was untenable. If Government takes a decision that it is interested in garnering this revenue, I would be willing to file a PIL to get the required concurrence of Courts. The solution lies in Citizens across the spectrum putting pressure on the political establishments of all parties to get us our rightful dues and resolve the issue of housing and slums. It can be done, and could be a fantastic opportunity for all Citizens. This matter can unite all Citizens, and give us a solution to our housing problems and after a few years,- give us a stream of additional revenue to improve our infrastructure.
        >
        > This appears to be a feasible possibility if there is political will. However, if Citizens and civil society organizations pursue it with consistence, it can happen. We do not aspire to be a Shanghai,- but we can certainly become a humane Mumbai.
        >
        > shailesh gandhi
        >
        > Mera Bharat Mahaan..
        >
        > Nahi Hai,
        >
        > Per Yeh Dosh Mera Hai.
        >
        >
        >
        > Note: 1 sq. mtr.= 10.7 sq.ft.
        >
        > 1 acre= 4087 sq. mtr.
        >
        > 1. The value of a residential property of 21 sq.mtrs. in Mumbai will be in the range of 18000 to 220000 per sq.mtr.
        >
        > 2. At a construction cost of Rs.10,000 per sq.mtr.the construction cost of one tenement will be Rs. 2,21,000, thus for two tenements the cost would be Rs. 4.42 lacs.
        >
        > 3. Please see attached excel sheet 3.
        >
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