Maharashtra: Primary health centre a must in SRA projects

Housing Minister Jitendra Awhad said that all Slum Rehabilitation Authority projects will have a primary health centre from now on as an intrinsic part of the approved project layout.

Awhad, who recovered from Covid, announced the decision on Twitter. “Henceforth, all Slum Rehabilitation Projects will have a primary health care centre admeasuring 1,000-5,000 sq ft. It will be free of FSI basis,” he wrote, adding that the orders had already been issued.

This is in line with Awhad’s assurance on May 27 to Brihanmumbai Developers Association comprising builders specialising in SRA and MHADA redevelopment projects. At a BDA webinar, Awhad had spoken about the social inequalities and the need to urgently upgrade the health infrastructure in slum clusters like Dharavi.

He had said that the pandemic has come as an opportunity to initiate change. “76 per cent of Mumbai’s land is utilised by 60 lakh people, and another 60 lakh live in the remaining 24 per cent. This discrepancy, inequality needs to be removed,” he said.

Awhad said the Maha Vikas Aghadi has set up a nine-member expert committee, led by Dr Shashank Joshi, to make recommendations on upgrading the health infrastructure.

Industrialist Ratan Tata had also described COVID-19 as a “wake-up call” to re-examine what are acceptable standards of quality of life. He had also called for a change in the slum redevelopment paradigm.

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