The redevelopment of Bombay Development Department (BDD) chawls spread over 92.86 acres at prime locations in central Mumbai finally started on Saturday.
At the inauguration ceremony, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said people with vested interests stalled the project for 21 years and sough credit for tweaking rules to ensure maximum benefits to chawl residents.
The revamp, one of the biggest such projects in India, will approximately cost Rs16,000 crore.
“BDD chawls were regarded as a goldmine by the erstwhile government, and hence they did not take any decision on their redevelopment. There are vested interests whose only aim is to hand over this land to private builders. However, I did not allow this to happen and changed rules... so that the maximum benefit are passed on to residents,” said Fadnavis.
The state government has appointed Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) as the nodal agency which was opposed by many resident associations. “We will utilise 68 % of the land for rehabilitation while the rest will have used to build private apartments for sale, which will fund this project,” he added.
“Chawl resident living in 160 sq ft houses will now get 500 sq ft houses. This would have not been possible if private builders were involved,” he added.
In the first phase, Naiguam and Lower Parel chawls will be revamped by Larsen & Toubro and Shapoorji Pallonji. Construction started on an open plot on Saturday.
Those opposing the project did try to protest but the police detained them till the function was over.
The BDD chawls were constructed by the then British Government between 1920 and 1925. These dilapidated chawls are highly unsafe for occupancy. The Public and Works Department (PWD) department, which owns these chawls, have been unsuccessful in maintaining them as residents pay Rs100 monthly in rent.
The state expects to generate at least 16,000 affordable houses through this revamp which will be sold through computerised lottery system.
Experts have hailed the revamp decision. “Considering the scale, this is a very challenging project and hopefully will create a some sort of precedent for future redevelopment schemes. This will create a huge stock of affordable houses in the heart of the city,” said Shubhankar Mitra, a consultant at Jones Lang Lasalle India, a real estate consultancy firm.
The project will take seven years
Rs16,000 crore: The total cost of the project which is likely to be completed in next seven years
Rs3,100 crore: Cost to redevelope Naiguam chawls. L&T has been appointed the developer
Rs2900 crore: Cost to redevelope Lower Parel chawls. Shapoorji Pallonji is the developer for the site
42: The number of BDD chawls in Naigaum with 3,344 rooms
32: The number of BDD chawls at Lower Parel with 2,560 rooms
500 sq ft: The size of redeveloped rooms to be handed over to residents
Rs9,000 crore: The cost to redevelope Worli BDD chawls, for which tenders will be floated in the next three months
The state is yet to take a decision on BDD chawls at Sewri as they are situated on the Mumbai Port Trust land