Maharashtra government plans revamp of Mumbai chawls

Mumbai: In a bid to provide better lifestyle to people living in chawls of Mumbai, Maharashtra government is planning to start a revamp project on over 93 acres of prime land in the metropolis within next six months.

"The Bombay Development Department (BDD) chawls in Mumbai are spread in an area of more than 93 acres and include about 217 buildings. Residents have long been complaining that they are forced to live in dilapidated cramped rooms with no sanitation facilities. It is high time we do something for these residents," Minister of State for Housing Ravindra Waikar told PTI here today.

A review meeting with officials of MHADA and the state's Revenue and Urban Development (UD) departments will be held in the first week of February to ascertain the prevailing the ground situation, he said.

"I will be reviewing the work done by these departments in the last few years. If there were lags, we need to know the causes behind it. This meeting will also make us prepare ourselves for the groundwork that needs to be done to undertake a project of this magnitude," he said.

An apex body representing the chawl residents have a list of demands that they want to be fulfilled, he said. "They have certain demands like getting 550 sq feet homes, plus getting to decide whether a private builder would construct their homes or MHADA. The state government is trying its best to ensure we incorporate all demands possible in our development agenda," the minister said.

The redevelopment work of buildings located in prime lands such as Worli, Sewri, Lower Parel and Naigaon will be done sector-wise, Waikar said. "There are lot of people staying in these chawls. We need to ensure that we provide them proper transit facilities while the construction work goes on. Also, it will be easier for us to complete the project in time-bound manner," he said.

The BDD chawls are part of colonies that were conceived in 1920 with the setting up of the Bombay Development Department to provide low cost housing to the economically disadvantaged people.

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