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Report No. 138

12. Maharashtra Act, 1971.-

(i) Under the Maharashtra Slum Area (Improvement, Clearance and Redevelopment) Act, 1971 (Act No. XXVIII of 1971) the competent authority, upon report from any of its officers or other information in its possession, may declare in regard to any area, that the buildings in that area are unfit for human habitation by reason of dilapidations, overcrowding, faulty arrangement and design of such buildings, narrowness of faulty arrangement of streets, lack of ventilation, light or sanitation facilities or any combination of these factors, detrimental to safety, health or morals.

(ii) Chapter 3 of the Maharashtra Act provides for slum improvement. On satisfaction of the competent authority, that authority may issue a notice to the owner of the building for the execution of the work of improvement. If the owner fails to do so, the competent authority can undertake the work of improvement and recover all expenses with interest from the owner as arrears of land revenue. However, under section 6, where the owner has not in his hands sufficient money to satisfy the whole demand of the competent authority, his liability shall be limited to the total amount of the money which he has in his hands.

(iii) Where the competent authority is satisfied that any building in a slum area is unfit for human habitation and is capable, at a reasonable expense, of being rendered so fit, the competent authority may order demolition of the said building after following the prescribed procedure.

(iv) Chapter 4 of the Maharashtra Act is concerned with slum clearance and re-development. Under section 11, the competent authority has power to declare any building unfit for human habitation or dangerous or injurious to health, through wide publicity in the prescribed manner.

The competent authority may also require such buildings to be vacated within the stipulated period, after the confirmation of the order by the Administrator, Under section 12, the Administrator may either confirm the order in whole or subject to such variation as he considers necessary; or reject the order. Any person aggrieved by the order of the Administrator may, within six weeks of the publication of the notice, prefer an appeal to the Tribunal constituted under the Act, and the decision of the Tribunal shall be final.

(v) Chapter 5 of the Maharashtra Act deals with the acquisition of land. Under section 14, the State Government may acquire the land of slum areas, after paying the compensation as laid down in the Act. The basis for determination of the compensation will be an amount equal to 60 times of net average monthly income actually derived from such land during the period of the 5 consecutive years immediately preceding the date of publication of the notice. As per section 19, the competent authority, on behalf of the State Government, shall tender payment of compensation to the person entitled thereto.

(vi) Chapter 6 of the Maharashtra Act provides for the protection of tenants in slum areas from eviction. According to section 22, no proceeding for eviction should be taken except with the previous permission in writing of the competent authority. An appeal lies to the Tribunal in certain cases. The decision of the Tribunal shall be final.

(vii) Section 24 of the Maharashtra Act provides for restoration of premises to the tenants. Where a tenant vacates any building, or is evicted therefrom on the ground that the building is required for the purpose of re-erection of the building, the tenant may, within such time as may be prescribed, file a declaration with the competent authority to the effect that he desires to be replaced in occupation of the building after the re-erection of the building. On receipt of such declaration, the competent authority may ask the owner to furnish the plans of re-erection of the building and an estimate of the cost thereof. Under section 25 of the Maharashtra Act, the rent after re-erection shall be determined in accordance with the section.

(viii) Chapter 7 of the Maharashtra Act contains miscellaneous provisions like powers relating to entry and inspection of the building. Further the competent authority has power to remove offensive or dangerous trade from slum areas.

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