How technology helps Omkar Realtors rehabilitate slums in Mumbai

Omkar Realtors’ slum view application manages data of every single hutment in the slum, ensures timely rent disposal, and tracks field agents and their progress.

All one wants is a roof over head. Well such a dream is a bit of a stretch for 9 million slum dwellers in India’s commercial capital. But trust Omkar Realtors and Developers to convert it into a business model with a win-win situation for the slum dwellers and the real estate company.

According to world population review, as high as 41.3 percent of people are living in the slums in Greater Mumbai. The Slum Rehabilitation model provided by Omkar Realtors, lets the slum dwellers have a home of their own in one of the towers built on the land occupied by the slum.

The rehabilitation process

Omkar Realtors is approached by the slum dwellers looking at the expertise in implementation of SRA scheme. Discussions are then held with the dwellers, convincing them to rehabilitate and move into the residential towers being built. A society is formed following due process.  A resolution is passed by the slum dwellers for appointing Omkar as the Developer. Other requisite documents are executed. Eligibility of the slum dwellers is decided by the government. As per existing rehabilitation policy, those slums existing before the year 2000 are eligible for rehabilitation.

Before the survey by government, a Plain Table Survey (PTS) is carried out at the Slum site. On the basis of this PTS draft, society prepares a statutory document called Annexure II and the same is forwarded to the government. Once government issues final Annexure II deciding eligibility of the slum dwellers, further activities are carried out like handing over keys of the hutment, evacuation, demolition, payment of rent to the slum dweller, handing over site for construction and so forth using the GIS Slum View App developed internally by Omkar. Slum dwellers are asked to find accommodation elsewhere till they are handed over possession of their final accommodation in the residential tower and in this interim period, Omkar compensates for their rental payments.

Mapping technology to slum redevelopment

Once the company identifies a large piece of slum land, AutoCAD drawings of all hutments within the slumland are superimposed on Google Maps. “Using the GIS Slum view application, which is integrated with Google Maps, you can see every single hutment unit demarcated within the slum” says Khushru Bacha, VP – IT, Omkar Realtors & Developers.

The next step is to feed in the details in the Slum View App, which includes Annexure number of the hut, Name of hutment dweller, Eligibility, KYC document details, handing over keys of the hutment, status of Evacuation, Demolition, Payment of rent to the slum dweller, handing over site for construction and so forth. Omkar Realtors has two separate departments called Property Affairs and Annexure II. The job of Annexure II department is to collate the executed papers received from slum dwellers with the help of PA team and update the eligibility status. The field executives of this department do this using the GIS Slum View Application. They have this App on their mobile phones and the manager has it on the laptop. Each manager has a field team responsible for certain section of the slums.

The field executives feed all the details on the field and upload it from the respective location itself. Thus the real time location and time of the field executive is also captured while he is updating the information in the App which enables our management to monitor productivity, location and activities of the field staff at any given moment. The slum view application also prompts the next activity date. The complete rehabilitation is divided into milestones. “All these milestones can be seen as a project plan, so centrally our management can get to see the details of every single hutment and how far it has progressed and also the summary dashboard as to how many hutments are demolished, how many are remaining and what is the overall status of the project. We can present all types of permutations and combinations to the management” says Khushru Bacha.

Employee Productivity and Cost benefits:

Looking at the size of slum redevelopment, the volume of data is very large. Hence it would be very difficult to track and manage. “With this application, we get a complete status as of the current minute and monitor everything centrally on a dashboard without being on the field. It speeds up the project. It thus translates into cost savings. If a project is delayed by a year, there would be so much of loss of revenue. This real time online tracking has translated into a lot of cost benefits for the company,” says Bacha.

Another benefit achieved is better control of payments and cash outflow. Payment to slum dwellers is now controlled based on the unique annexure number using this software. Since annexure number is unique for each hutment, the software does not allow duplicate payments happening to the same slum dweller due to oversight. Another huge benefit is that we are now able to get a complete projection of our cash out flow statement for the next 2-3 years up to the time we are able to handover the flats to the slum dwellers.