The Maharashtra cabinet on October 17 approved setting up of a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to fast-track the long-pending development of Asia's largest slum Dharavi, located in Mumbai.
The government has also decided to invite global tenders for the purpose.
As per rough estimates, thousands of residents of Dharavi are eligible for new houses after redevelopment.
The decision assumes significance in the view of Lok Sabha and state Assembly elections slated next year, as Dharavi, spread over 200 hectares, is a major vote bank in the city.
Dharavi is one of the ten assembly segments located in the Mumbai City district. It is a part of the Mumbai South Central Lok Sabha constituency, currently represented by Rahul Shewale of the Shiv Sena.
Congress MLA Varsha Gaikwad has been representing the assembly segment since the last three terms.
The project to redevelop the slum cluster, located in central Mumbai, was first conceived in 2003 but is yet to see the light of the day.
Dharavi redevelopment has been a topic of discussion since last two decades. The previous efforts for getting the developers for the project was twice unsuccessful.
S V R Srinivas, chief executive of the Dharavi Redevelopment Project Authority (DRPA) told PTI Tuesday that the government will be an "active participant and a stake-holder" in the proposed SPV.
"Global tenders will be invited. The new initiative will be a holistic, integrated master plan," he said.
Previously, the slum was supposed to be developed into five sectors.
In 2012, the then Congress-NCP government had given the responsibility to redevelop Sector 5 of the slum cluster to the Maharashtra Housing Area Development Authority (MHADA). However, there was not much progress since then.
In another decision, the Cabinet has approved setting up of one lakh agriculture pumps for farmers that run on solar power over a period of three years.
"Farmers who own agriculture land up to five acres will get solar pumps with the capacity of 3 HP (Horse Power) and those holding more than five acres of 5 HP," said an official in the Chief Minister's Office (CMO).
Those farmers who have access to permanent water resources can avail this facility.
"Farmers belonging to the 'general' category will have to pay 10 per cent of the total cost for the pumps while those belonging to SC and ST categories have to bear 5 per cent of the total cost," the official said.
A total of 25,000 pumps will be installed in the first phase in 2018-19, 50,000 pimps in 2019-20 and 25,000 pumps in 2020-21, he said.
The cabinet also approved Rs 1689.50 crore for the Aruna Medium Irrigation project at Vaibhavwadi in Sindhudurg district under the Pradhanmantri Krushi Sinchan Yojana.
After completion of the project, an area of 5310 hectares in Vaibhavwadi and Rajapur talukas would come under irrigation.
Similarly, the government approved Rs 635 crore for the upcoming Kudali Medium Irrigation Project in Satara district, the official said.
The project envisages construction of two dams, he said, adding that the government is also preparing four lift irrigation schemes.
A total of 5237 hectares of area in 42 villages will be benefitted due to irrigation," the official said.