Mumbai, May 27 (PTI) Asserting that he is 'pro-builder', Maharashtra housing minister Jitendra Awhad assured to look into all the needs of the developers on Wednesday, stating that nurturing the sector alone will help in the 'survival' of the financial capital.
The ongoing reverse migration back to their home towns will create “labour issues”, but the same can be overcome once the activity begins, Awhad said.
The Mumbai metropolitan region accounts for over a fourth of all the COVID infections in the country. Even before the lockdown, the realty sector was struggling with high inventories because of a virtual refusal to lower the prices despite falling demand.
Speaking at an online interaction arranged by Brihanmumbai Developers Association, a body of redevelopers, Awhad explained that he is 'pro-builder' because it is only if the realty sector flourishes that the poor will benefit through aspects like employment and also better housing.
Hinting that there is no space for new development, Awhad said redevelopment of slums, Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) buildings and other cessed buildings in pockets like Dharavi, Kamathipura and Govandi is the way forward for the industry.
He also assured all help to the industry to ensure that the redevelopment activities get off the ground, and appealed to big project architects to step up with the design needs.
Addressing one of the oft-repeated requests of the industry, Awhad promised to deliver project permissions in 30 days, failing which a provisional nod will be deemed to be given.
The Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) and MHADA will have to facilitate the builders to not only survive, but also to grow, Awhad said.
'Wherever the government has to sideline certain norms, certain rules,' the bureaucracy has been instructed to not insist on legalities. 'We will have to accommodate a proposal,' the minister said.
'I might not support you out of the law box, but within the law, I will see to it that if I can bend it and support you (developers),' he said.
'If the (realty) business survives, the business city (of) Mumbai survives. If business collapses, then I don't think Mumbai will ever survive,” he added.
Awhad asked the lobby grouping to come forward with specific suggestions based on their requirements, and assured to look into those within a fortnight by taking necessary decisions.
He said certain concessions will have to be considered for two years so that the “ailing industry” will come out of the troubles.
Sharing some specifics, he said there can be a subsidy policy and the need for having caps on original residents' consents before moving on redevelopment proposals. PTI AA MKJ MKJ