Mumbai: Dhobi Ghat to get a swanky spin in three years

Iconic slum pocket goes in for a major redevelopment; will get a multi-storeyed, modernised laundromat by 2019

As part of the redevelopment project, 826 of the 950 huts at Sane Guruji Nagar in Dhobi Ghat were demolished on Friday. Pics/Poonam Bathija
As part of the redevelopment project, 826 of the 950 huts at Sane Guruji Nagar in Dhobi Ghat were demolished on Friday. Pics/Poonam Bathija

Work on the redevelopment of Mumbai’s heritage washing zone, Dhobi Ghat, began in full swing on Friday. Once ready, the 14-acre slum pocket in Mahalaxmi that surrounds the iconic open-air laundromat will make way for a modernised laundry space for its tenants. The project is expected to be ready by 2019.

The heritage site of Dhobi Ghat will not be disturbed during the execution of the project
The heritage site of Dhobi Ghat will not be disturbed during the execution of the project

With more than 5,000 hutments, Dhobi Ghat currently houses the city’s 25,000-strong dhobi (washermen) community. Omkar Realtors and Developers has been handed the task of redeveloping the project under SRA Section 33 (10). “We demolished 826 of the 950 huts located at Sane Guruji Nagar on Friday,” said Kaushik More, executive developer for Omkar Realtors.

According to More, around 20,000 residents have already given their nod to the redevelopment plan. “Each family will receive a rent of `15,000 per month for the next 22 months, all of which has been paid to them. We hope to complete the project in 2.5 years.”

More added that after the project is completed, each family will receive an apartment of 269 sqft carpet area, on an ownership basis and free of cost. “We will also be giving them a modern facility to carry out their laundry work,” he added. “This modernised laundry will be a multi-storeyed one, unlike the open-air Dhobi Ghat that they use now. It will be an indoor factory where all tasks such as cleaning, drying, washing and ironing can take place under one roof.”

However, the exact placement and details of this indoor-industrial ghat is not yet clear as it is still in the designing stage.

More also assured that the heritage dhobi ghat would not be disturbed during the execution of this SRA project. “This area is not a part of our project,” he said. “Currently, there are two ghats — a big one, and a slightly smaller one in size. None of them will be touched as our project is located on the opposite side.”

826
No. of hutments demolished on Friday

25,000
No. of residents to be relocated

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