Mumbai’s space-starved island city will soon have more than 3,000 houses on the block in three high-rise buildings, at prices significantly lower than the market rates.
The houses will come up on prime real estate at Lower Parel and Dadar, where property prices go up to Rs30,000 a sqft. The construction is part of the state’s plan to redevelop the Bombay Development Directorate (BDD) chawls in these areas.
Work on two of these projects is expected to begin in January — with the State Expert Appraisal Committee recommending the projects at Naigaum, Dadar and NM Joshi Marg, Lower Parel for environment clearance. The State Environment Impact Assessment Authority will assess them for a final nod.
“We are in the process of floating a global tender for construction at the two sites. The government wants to start work once we receive a final environment clearance,” said an official from the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA), the nodal agency for the redevelopment projects. The state also wants a formal inauguration of the two sites by chief minister Devendra Fadnavis before the model code of conduct for the Mumbai civic polls kicks in.
The two redevelopment projects will lead to 8,985 residential units springing up. Of these, 3,160 — more than 35% — will form a part of the sale component that MHADA will sell through a draw.
A MHADA official said all the houses built for sale will be for the middle-income and higher-income groups. According to government norms, people with a monthly income of Rs50,000-Rs75,000 apply for middle-income group houses, while those with more than Rs75,000 a month fall in the higher-income category.
MHADA sells homes at a significant discount to market prices, charging only the construction and administrative costs and a tempered profit. Its previous draw of affordable homes in Mumbai attracted 1.36 lakh applications for 972 homes. Houses for the middle-income group were priced at Rs35.52 lakh to Rs57.22 lakh, while houses for the higher-income group were priced at Rs 61.31 lakh to Rs 83.86 lakh.
At the Naigaon site, spread over 64,559 square metres, MHADA will construct two sale buildings — one residential building with four wings of 67 floors each, and a commercial building of 20 floors. The existing tenants will be rehabilitated in three buildings of 25 wings, and 16 to 23 floors high.
At the NM Joshi Marg site, spread over 54,611 square metres, there will be three sale buildings — two 47-storey residential buildings with two wings each, and one commercial building of eight floors. It will also have two composite buildings comprising 14 wings of 22 floors each to rehabilitate the existing tenants.
The state has sanctioned the project an Floor Space Index of 4, or 55% of the total construction area required to rehabilitate existing residents, whichever is more.
The BDD chawls were developed by the British in the 1920s as a low-cost housing solution for the city. There are 207 such chawls spread across about 37 hectare in four areas—Worli, Sewri, NM Joshi Marg and Naigaon. Around 12,327 families live in these cramped 160-square-feet houses. However, while work on the redevelopment of the BDD chawls at NM Joshi Marg and Naigaon is picking up, the revamp of the other two much larger sites—Worli and Sewri—is still far from taking off.
A MHADA official said, “There was a legal problem with the consultant we had finalised for the revamp at Worli, so we are in the process of floating fresh tenders for the consultancy contract. Regarding Sewri, the land comes under Mumbai Port Trust. MHADA had requested the port trust through the government to let the authority take up the redevelopment of the Sewri BDD chawls. We are yet to hear back.”