Around 207 BDD chawls will be redeveloped. Representation Pic

The government's ambitious Rs 16,000-crore plan to redevelop the Bombay Development Department (BDD) chawls has met with a hurdle. According to sources in the MHADA, officials are unable to start the biometric survey for this project as miffed residents of the area are posing a stiff opposition, alleging that no paper work was done to relocate them. As a result, the implementing of the redevelopment scheme is getting delayed.

The government had assured the residents, who live in 160- sqft flats, that they would be given 500-sqft homes after redevelopment work. But locals allege that none of the state's promises were given in writing.

A MHADA official said, "The residents are demanding houses in the redeveloped project, but, for that we need to conduct a biometric survey to check their eligibility. Most of these houses were given to labourers in 1925 and there is no set ownership. Many of these houses were offered as staff quarters, but now the residents are claiming those flats as theirs."

Around 207 BDD chawls are likely to be redeveloped as part of government's new project. These are spread over 32 acres in Lower Parel, 42 acres in Naigaum (Dadar) and 59 acres in Worli, where 121 chawls will be redeveloped at a cost of R9,000 crore. The chawls on the Bombay Port Trust Land at Sewree, spread around six acres, will also be redeveloped. The project is also expected to create a stock of about 16,000 houses, likely to be used as affordable housing.

Despite several attempts, MHADA CEO Subhash Lakhe remained unavailable for comment.