Mumbai: Stalled for decades, BDD chawls to be redeveloped in 2016

Housing Minister Ravindra Waikar says top contractors will be hired, while MHADA will remain the implementing authority; final meeting to discuss nuances of the project scheduled for November 28

For the 15,000 families residing in over 200 BDD chawls, the New Year is surely going to be a happy and a prosperous one.

Also Read: Redevelopment of BDD chawls to commence by 2015 end

Awaiting resurrection: Aerial view of BDD chawls near Jambori Maidan, Worli. Spread across 92 acres, almost all the buildings are 100-years-old and dilapidated. Pic/Bipin Kokate
Awaiting resurrection: Aerial view of BDD chawls near Jambori Maidan, Worli. Spread across 92 acres, almost all the buildings are 100-years-old and dilapidated. Pic/Bipin Kokate

It has been learnt that a final meeting between various state government and Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) officials has been scheduled for November 28 to discuss the nitty-gritty and a possible date for commencing the BDD chawls redevelopment project.

Sources claimed the state has decided to start the redevelopment of the 92-acre area in the first quarter of 2016 — mostly in March. While MHADA will be the implementing agency, government aims to hire topnotch contractors and developers for the project. Moreover, all the existing residents are likely to get housing units with a carpet area of 500 sq ft.

Read Story: BDD chawl redevelopment set back by five years

Confirming the news, housing minister Ravindra Waikar said, “We have decided to give an area of 500 sq ft to every tenant. Although top contractors and developers will be hired, MHADA will remain the implementing authority. We are going to decide the final details in a meeting on November 28.”

While a few MHADA officials claimed the development body is currently chalking out plans to float tenders to finalise architects and consultants, sources, however, claimed that the process to shortlist consultants is almost done.

Rising from the ashes
The project to redevelop the 100-year-old chawls had been stuck in the pipeline for over 15 years.

Though the previous Congress-NCP government had set up a committee to oversee the project and rehabilitation of the existing tenants, all the paperwork was lost in the 2012 Mantralaya fire incident. In the absence of blueprints, the new BJP-Shiv Sena government had to start from scratch.

Moreover, Sena seems to be keen on executing the project at the earliest, as most of the chawls are located in Worli and Lower Parel — areas dominated by Marathi-speaking population.

Also Read: Council Chairman asks govt to prepare a policy on BDD chawls

Commenting on the project, Waikar claimed the cluster redevelopment model would be implemented for the proposed project. Under cluster redevelopment, a Floor Space Index (FSI) of 4 is given to the project and is the highest.

Once executed, it will become the biggest redevelopment project in the city — almost five times greater than the Bhendi Bazaar project that is being carried out by the Saifee Burhani Upliftment Trust on area measuring almost 16.5 acres.

Flash back
On June 21, 2012, a fire broke out at the Mantralaya building. Five people died and 20 others were injured in the mishap. Moreover, hundreds of files were destroyed in the fire, including the ones related to the BDD chawls redevelopment project.

160 sq ft
Existing size of tenements across BDD chawls

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