Dhobi Ghat revamp set to take off, 2.5 acre land cleared on Friday
The Rs7000 crore revamp project involves the clearance of 14 acres of land parcel in Dhobi Ghat, one of the largest open laundry in the world, and a major tourist attraction of Mumbai.cities Updated: Nov 25, 2016 16:34 IST
The Dhobi Ghat redevelopment project got a big boost on Friday as 2.5 acres of prime real estate at Mahalaxmi was cleared, after 834 slums were demolished.
The Rs7000 crore revamp project involves the clearance of 14 acres of land parcel in Dhobi Ghat, one of the largest open laundry in the world, and a major tourist attraction of Mumbai.
While the 731 washing pens and flogging stones at the heritage site will not be touched, the entire vicinity of the slums will be replaced by skyscrapers.
38-year-old washerman Srinivas Satta, whose house was demolished, called it an upgradation of lifestyle. “Now we can boast of living in a building instead of a slum. It impacts our overall life. lMy children can get better education and we will now live in a cleaner environment,” said Satta. By 2018, the slum-dwellers are expected to move to new houses.
The Ghat is a large prime land parcel in South Mumbai — which is usually starved of such huge spaces. This plot, overlooking the scenic Arabian sea and 225 acres of the Mahalaxmi race course, is one of the most sought-after residences for homebuyers. Hence, any 2 BHK (Bedroom hall kitchen) apartment can easily fetch not less than Rs4 crore for the builder.
Of the total 5000 slums, about 1500 have already been demolished in the last one year. Omkar Realtors and Developers Private Limited has obtained the green signal from approximately 3500 of the 5000 slum dwellers and negotiations are going on to woo the rest.
According to Babulal Verma, Managing Director, Omkar Realtors and Developers Limited, there is increasing interest among the slum dwellers to shift to cleaner surroundings. “Unlike in the past, when there was massive resistance, here we have 834 families handing over their keys to us. This ensured that we finished the demolition in one day. We are witnessing increasing interest among the slum dwellers to move to buildings,” said Verma. “The project will also give boost to tourism, as we will have people coming here to see how the entire system works, which is not the case currently considering the dirt,” he added.
The British administration had created the ghat, which is a washing area with 731 washing pens and flogging stones. The area around this was a huge cleaning and drying open area, which was then systematically taken over by the slum lords. This led to the mushrooming of the slums in the vicinity.