After a delayed start for the Dharavi redevelopment project, the state government now plans to resolve the controversy of the eligibility criteria for residents who will benefit from the project.
To expedite this process, the state government will appoint a senior official of the rank of the deputy collector. According to Sachin Ahir, minister for housing, the government will ensure that all hurdles in the way of this mega project are removed.
“We will shortly be appointing an officer of the rank of the deputy collector to determine the eligibility of residents. This official will monitor the process,” said Ahir.
The issue regarding eligibility had come up in a preliminary survey of sector 3 in 2009. The survey revealed that 63 % of the population was not eligible for new houses under the revamp scheme. Although the survey had received flak, questions were also raised about the project.
It was also found that 31% of residents of sector 5—2,900 residents of the total 9,300—were not eligible for houses as these residents bought houses after January 1, 2000. Only residents living in the area before 2000 are eligible for houses under the revamp scheme.
“This clause will lead to a number of problems as sale of a number of slums have taken place after 2004 when the Dharavi redevelopment project was conceived,” said a senior official of the project.
Eligibility rules state that the structure as well as residents ought to have been present in the slum before 2000. While the cut-off year for other slum projects is 1995, it was 2000 for the Dharavi revamp project as it is a special project.
The revamp plan, mooted in 2004, has been facing a number of hurdles over the years. The global tenders to select developers were also scrapped. Last year, the state government decided to hand over sector 5 to Mhada to create affordable housing.