The much talked about Dharavi makeover project made a significant progress after the state government approved the draft for its redevelopment plan. The go ahead was given during a recently held meeting that was chaired by Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan.
The plan would now be tabled before various authorities for clearances. The significant step comes in after nine years since the state first approved the project in February 2004.
The approval is considered as an important step in the direction of the implementation of the ambitious project, considering that there were differences of opinion between the resident groups, political parties.
The approval came after the publication of the draft plan for sector 1 to 5 in April and hearings conducted on 750-odd suggestions and objections raised by Dharavi residents, political parties and stakeholders like BMC. Sources said the plan would be tabled before stakeholders such as the civic body, whose 70 per cent land has been encroached upon at Dharavi.
The plan was approved during a three-hour-long marathon meeting that was attended by senior officials from the state departments of housing, urban development, law and judiciary, environment, revenue, MMRDA, BMC, MHADA, SRA and Dharavi Rehabilitation Authority (DRA). Interestingly, the CM-headed housing department is going ahead with the plan as devised by it despite the difference of opinion between the resident groups and political parties over the redevelopment.
Sources said initially only 40 per cent residents currently living in Dharavi were eligible for rehabilitation. But with CM’s announcement in the State Assembly to approve sale of pre-1995 slums, making new buyers of slums eligible for rehabilitation, the figure may go up to 60 per cent. In addition, residents have been eligible for rehabilitation even after the extended cut off date of year 2000.
The important issue of residents’ opposition for MHADA to carry out redevelopment of sector 5, spread on 23 acres, and rehabilitation of those occupying the mezzanine floors of slums in the area remains unsolved. “The state has not considered rehabilitation of people living in makeshift floors constructed on the existing slums,” an official said.
Amount of BMC land encroached upon in Dharavi
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Spread over 460 acres between Matunga and Sion, Dharavi houses over 60,000 families with a population of approximately 2 lakh people. It is estimated that rehabilitation of residents would cover 151 acres and the remaining area will be used for various amenities and reservations.