BDD chawls redevelopment to get further delayed as green nod awaited

Mumbai: The redevelopment of 207-year-old Bombay Development Directorate (BDD) chawls may get delayed further as Maharashtra government will have to seek clearance from the Union Environment Ministry to go ahead with its milestone project.

Although the BDD chawls in the island city, situated in Worli, Dadar (E), Lower Parel and Sewri, fall neither under any forest land nor in jurisdiction of coastal regulations, they are covered under central norms, which say any construction project which crosses a limit of 20,000 sq metre area needs an environmental clearance.

The BDD chawls are spread over 93 acres. "We need to have an environmental clearance to go ahead with the BDD redevelopment project. We have completed all the remaining processes," Housing Minister Prakash Mehta said today.

"The government will use 4 floor space index (FSI) for the redevelopment of all BDD chawls," he added. FSI is the ratio of a building's total floor area to the size of the piece of land upon which it is built.

"As of now, the Department is busy with framing DC (Development Control) rules. After this, an architect will be appointed, plan of redevelopment will get drafted and subsequently the proposal will be sent for environmental clearance. Once we get the environment nod, we will float tenders," said an official said, requesting anonymity.

The British had constructed the BDD chawls (row of tenements) as a low-cost housing project. The government has appointed the Maharashtra Housing and Development Authority (MHADA) as the nodal agency for the project.

The State Housing Department has set up an 11-member committee under the chairmanship of the Chief Secretary to monitor the project.

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