Maharashtra Sadan developer’s controversial Mumbai slum revamp gets green nod

  • Ketaki Ghoge, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Dec 11, 2014 20:10 IST

The developer of the controversial Maharashtra Sadan building in Delhi, who had been given rights for a massive slum rehabilitation project at Andheri (West) in exchange for the project in the Capital, has received the final environmental clearance from the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) in November.

The barter deal has been under scanner as it was revealed that the developer, KS Chamankar, got the redevelopment rights without any tenders, in exchange for redeveloping Maharashtra Sadan, the Regional Transport Office (RTO) building complex and testing track in Mumbai and one more government guest house.

The redevelopment of Anna Nagar at Andheri (West) will put 692 residential flats for sale, besides 231 rehabilitation tenements for existing slum dwellers. The cost of the entire project is pegged at Rs. 800 crore.

The opposition had previously alleged that former PWD minister Chhagan Bhujbal had handed over the deal to a favoured contractor in violation of all rules. Bhujbal had defended the deal in the legislature, saying it had got a clearance from the cabinet subcommittee on infrastructure.

The minutes of the SEIAA’ meeting state the slum project will include construction of two rehabilitation buildings – one 7 storeys and another 23 storeys – and four sale buildings with eight wings of 31 storeys each. The project will also have a commercial four-storey wing.

While the rehabilitation buildings, RTO office building, staff quarter building have been constructed, the testing track for RTO and the construction of sale buildings hasn’t began yet. The sale component of the project is expected to bring in big monies to the developer.

The project had got an environment clearance in 2012 as well, but the developer sought a clearance again as the project had been modified since then. In the amended plans, the number of project affected persons (PAP) had reduced from 137 to 43. The panel while granting a clearance asked the developer to restrict parking lots to 969 instead of the proposed 1,550.

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