Mumbai, the State Capital of Maharashtra, has often been referred to as the Financial Capital of India. The city have offered not merely glamour, entertainment, but also wages and much higher level of assurance of employment. Over the years it naturally has attracted a large number of people from rural and other areas leading to large scale migration into the mega city. The pace of urbanization has left far behind the efforts and initiative of planners, local bodies, housing authorities and formal real estate developers in providing affordable housing to a large number of its residents. Today, as a result, about 50% of its residents spread over around 2397 slum clusters live in unhygienic, deplorable, unsafe huts or shanties called slums. These slums have come up on private lands, Stale Government lands, Municipal Corporation lands, Central Government lands and Housing Board lands.
The Governments initial response up to the early 1970s was treating such settlements as illegal and resorting to demolition and clearance. But the demolition efforts not only· proved unsuccessful but the fact that the citizens who had become an integral part of the city were being dishoused, was unequivocally termed "inhuman."
The second phase of response was to tolerate the slum structures as a housing solution and provide civic amenities to the slum dwellers as environmental improvement works. An Act called the Maharashtra Slum Areas (Improvement. Clearance and Redevelopment) Act, 1971 was passed and improvement works were defined therein. It was accepted that when slums are to be removed for public purposes these slums have to be relocated elsewhere.
In the next phase that started during the mid-80s, there was a paradigm shift in the Government Stand. A programme called slum up gradation was implemented with World Bank assistance.
In the current phase, the Government of Maharashtra has launched a comprehensive slum rehabilitation scheme by introducing an innovative concept of using land· as a resource and allowing incentive floor space index (FSI) in the form of tenements for sale in the open market.
The Government of Maharashtra accepted the recommendations made by the Afzulpurkar Committee, in the December Session of State Legislative Assembly in 1995 and amended the Maharashtra Slum Areas (Improvement, Clearance and Redevelopment) Act, 1971 to provide for the creation of Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SHA) with a Chairperson, a Chief Executive Officer and other members. SRA was created by the Government Notification dated 16th December 1995 to function with effect from 25th December 1995
The Chief Minister of Maharashtra is the Chairperson of SRA and a super time scale IAS Officer is full-time Chief Executive Officer of the Authority. The members include Ministers, elected member of the State Legislature, Secretaries of concern State Government Department and some non-official members.