Maharashtra Minister of State for Housing Sachin Ahir confirmed the news and said, “I ordered the survey to get the exact figure of those eligible for a house. In order to bring more transparency in deciding the eligibility criteria issue, the government has decided to depute a deputy collector level officer. We are confident that by doing this we will get more accurate figure of the eligible slum dwellers.”
It should be noted that the state government has already spent Rs 1 core on an NGO —Mashal — for conducting a survey on Dharavi. According to Mashal’s survey, there are 1.5 lakh people in Dharavi who are eligible for a house under the scheme. However, according to the figures available with the government there are only fifty nine thousand people eligible.
“There is a huge difference between the figure that came in the survey conducted by Mashal and the one the government had and so it was thought that a new survey be conducted,” said a DRP official requesting anonymity
It should be noted that members of DBA had stated that they wouldn’t allow MHADA to start construction work unless it promised them 400 sq ft houses.
At present, the government has decided to give 300 square feet houses to Dharavi residents
The local residents have also claimed that their demand should met since the state government was going to profit by selling the commercial area which it would acquire after the redevelopment.
Members of the group have also alleged that the survey conducted by an architect from MHADA was flawed and lacked accurate data.
However, in the past MHADA has made it clear that providing 400 square feet houses was an unrealistic demand which could not be fulfilled. As a consequence MHADA had even decided to take police assistance in the eventuality that DBA members would try to disrupt construction activity.
On a pilot basis, MHADA has started developing 153 acres in the first phase in sector 5, the area adjoining Sion and BKC.