MUMBAI: In a major turnaround, construction major Larsen & Toubro (L&T) has once again agreed to take up the Naigaum BDD chawl redevelopment project. A letter from the company withdrawing its termination notice and agreeing to resume work was submitted to the chief officer, Mumbai Board, Yogesh Mhase, on Monday. Mhase confirmed the development.
Housing minister Jitendra Awhad said he had been informed by the housing secretary that L&T had decided to take on the project again. “We will now be holding talks with them. They have not put any conditions for restarting the work,” he said.
Mumbai city guardian minister Aslam Shaikh said it was an important decision. “At a time when the Worli and N M Joshi Marg BDD chawl redevelopment project is moving ahead it would have been unfortunate for this important project in central Mumbai to be stalled. This is good news,” he said.
L&T bagged the Rs 2,900-cr Naigaum project in 2017 and was the first to build a 500 sqft sample flat. But political opposition resulted in a stalemate. Mhada, the nodal agency for the project, was unable to carry out a survey to identify eligible tenants. Those eligible were to be shifted out in phases for the project to be started. -Clara Lewis
MUMBAI: Work has started on construction of transit buildings at Worli for BDD Chawl residents, kickstarting one of the city’s largest redevelopment projects in central Mumbai. These are being constructed on open spaces within the BDD chawl complex.
“The proposal is to construct three transit buildings. About a month ago, work started on two buildings and these will be ready in the next two years,” said a Mhada official.
The Worli BDD chawls comprise 121 chawls with 9,680 tenants. So far Mhada has carried out the survey for eligibility in 14 chawls. In phase I, the Maharashtra Housing Area Development Authority (MHADA), the nodal authority for redeveloping BDD chawls, will be shifting 1,120 tenants.
While Mhada has 1,816 tenements at the Bombay Dyeing and Srinivas Mills compound in central Mumbai, these have been taken over by BMC for a Covid care centre. Mhada officials said these are likely to be returned in January.
Unlike in Naigaum, Dadar, where there has been strong opposition to the redevelopment of the chawls, at Worli and N M Joshi Marg, tenants have been cooperating with the authorities. The state government has promised 500-sqft carpet homes to those eligible .
At N M Joshi Marg, which comprises 32 chawls, the survey has been completed in 10 chawls and 273 have already been given transit accommodation. “Around 800 tenants are to be shifted and so far 607 have been found eligible. Work to confirm eligibility of the others is in process,” said the official.
The Worli redevelopment will result in 4,000 saleable flats for middle- and high- income groups.
MUMBAI: The Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) wants to invoke summary powers to evict BDD chawl residents who are not cooperating with its redevelopment project.
A senior MHADA officer, on the condition of anonymity, has confirmed that a proposal has been sent to the Urban Development Department (UDD). Once the department publishes the notification, action will be taken against those who do not cooperate with the project, an official said.
Under the MHADA Act 1976, the written consent and a no-objection certificate from not less than 70% of the occupants for the reconstruction of the proposed housing society shall make it binding on all the occupiers to vacate the premises.
The BDD chawls project is a prime redevelopment project in the city spread across 91 acres in Worli, Sewri, Lower Parel and Naigaon.
Around 16,545 residents live in the area. MHADA is the nodal agency for Worli, Lower Parel and Naigaon and is working on securing rights for Sewri. The authority is currently in the phase of conducting a survey to decide the eligibility of the occupiers.
The project has triggered a debate and residents have split into two groups of Shiv Sena and Congress supporters.
Kiran Mane, general secretary of the Akhil BDD Chawl Bhadekaru Hakk Sarkshan Samiti outlined his faction’s demands. “We are asking the government to transfer cash for the 14 sq ft component to each occupier’s account and we settle for 500 sq ft houses as against the 160 sq ft houses we have in the BDD chawl currently,” Mane said. “We will use the cash to pay maintenance at the housing societies we relocate to. For ten years we don’t have to pay any maintenance, except water and light bills. Also if we have a 500 sq ft house, we get an exemption on property tax.”
The Mane and Wagmare-led factions have accused each other of misleading the residents.
Congress spokesperson Raju Waghmare said his group was opposing the eligibility survey. “If the redevelopment is done under 33(5), we will get more than houses measuring more than 635 sq ft. We have opposed the eligibility survey as it is not required. We need permanent agreements from MHADA when they relocate us to transit buildings because we will not be able to fight for our rights if the projects are delayed.”
Waghmare said that the individual corpus fund amount is not negotiable and that a majority of the chawl’s residents are supporting him.