Closed mills will soon turn into open spaces for Mumbai, thanks to a new proposal that the state's urban development department and the BMC are working on. Soon, when any mill land goes for redevelopment, one-third will be converted to open spaces, one-third will go to affordable housing, and the rest can be redeveloped by the mill owners.
India United Mill No 1 in Lalbaug is one of the properties that could be converted into a plot for affordable housing. File pic
As per these new norms, Mumbai could get nearly 100 acres of open space, as well as another 100 acres of affordable houses under the Maharashtra Housing And Development Authority (MHADA). To redistribute the mill land in this manner, the BMC will have to amend the Development Control Regulations, specifically DCR (58), which pertains to mill land development.
Mukesh Mills, located on prime sea-front land in Colaba, is among the four private mills that are available for redevelopment. File pic
The urban development department had already issued a notification in July about the mill land use. This decision will now have to be ratified by the civic body. On Saturday, the proposal was supposed to be cleared by the Improvement Committee, but the meeting was adjourned. The plan will now be tabled in the next meeting.
A better, fairer formula
This idea is not a novel one. The 2001 formula for mill land redevelopment, which is still used, also divided the land three ways: Between open space, MHADA and mill land owners. However, this distribution formula only applied to land that was free of any structures. All the land occupied by the factory buildings and other amenities - a large chunk of the space - remained with the mill owners. Many leased opened business and restaurants in the mill buildings. Now, the entire mill land (inclusive of buildings) will be divided equally.
There are 56 mills in the city, of which 17 are available for redevelopment. These hold more than 300 acres of land between them, yielding 100 acres each for public spaces, houses and the mill owners.
Vivek More, deputy chief engineer in the Development Plan (DP) department, explained: "Now, since the entire mill land will be divided in three parts, the share of open space and MHADA will be bigger. The space-starved city will get playgrounds and recreational grounds. It will benefit the citizens. These changes will be incorporated in DCR (58)."
Also read - Mumbai: Open spaces will cost BMC Rs 6,000 crore
A senior civic official from the DP department said, "Out of 17 available mills, the National Textiles Corporation (NTC) has 13 mills, and the remaining four are private. Five of the NTC mills are closed, while eight are operational."
Private mills: Mukesh Mills in Colaba, Khatau Mills in Borivli, Swadeshi Mills in Kurla, Bradbury Mills in Kalbadevi
National Textile Corporation mills: Finlay Mills in Lalbaug, Jam Mills in Lalbaug, Kohinoor Mills in Dadar, India United Mill Number 1 in Lalbaug
Mill land available for redevelopment
Mill land that will be converted to open space
No. of mills that will be redeveloped
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