Dharavi makeover blueprint ready | india | Hindustan Times
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Dharavi makeover blueprint ready

The Dharavi Redevelopment Authority, which will implement the makeover, has prepared a Rs 15,000-crore master plan, which will be presented to a panel headed by Chief Secretary Johny Joseph for approval on June 10, reports Naresh Kamath.

india Updated: Jun 07, 2009 02:19 IST
Naresh Kamath

The blueprint for the redevelopment of Asia’s largest slum, Dharavi, is ready five years after it was first mooted.

The Dharavi Redevelopment Authority (DRA), which will implement the makeover, has prepared a Rs 15,000-crore master plan, which will be presented to a panel headed by Chief Secretary Johny Joseph for approval on June 10.

Once it’s okayed, DRA will invite bids from the 14 developers in the fray. The project is to be completed in seven years.

The plan is critical to Mumbai as it will mean a significant jump in the number of houses available, which could push down prices, as well more open spaces. It will also mean more office and industrial space on the market.

Developers will have to provide free houses and shops to the slum-dwellers and will in turn get to build residential and commercial property that they can sell. This makes it a completely self-financing project.

The plan was delayed due to opposition from Dharavi’s residents, who feared they would get a raw deal. The recent economic downturn also scared away developers; four of them pulled out recently.

Dharavi has been divided into five sectors for the makeover and each will have a different developer. Each developer will have to build 60 lakh sq ft of houses and shops to rehabilitate the 60,000 families that live in the slum.

The developers will be selected in August. In return, the developer will get to build 90 lakh sq ft of housing and commercial property that can be sold.

The slum families’ houses will measure 300 sq ft each. The first two floors of rehabilitation buildings will be kept aside for offices or industries. DRA has also relaxed the ceiling of seven storeys for rehabilitation buildings to 15.

DRA is leaving aside the 10.6 acres occupied by Kolis (fisherfolk) and Kumbhars (potters) as both these communities are strongly opposed the redevelopment. However, it will build basic infrastructure like roads through this pocket.

“Dharavi is not just another housing project,” said DRA chief Gautam Chatterjee. Spread over 535 acres, Dharavi is more just a slum — it is a bustling commercial area. Chatterjee added: “It involves complete participation of the community. Apart from houses, we are ensuring that residents’ lives are not disrupted.”