Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday batted for Mhada to redevelop the Bombay Development Department (BDD) chawls — 207 buildings spread across 92.86 acres of prime realty in central Mumbai.
The CM backing the revamp of the chawls by Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada) is in line with the state government’s aim to generate a large stock of affordable homes in the city.
“We will not tolerate private builders who are trying to make a gradual entry into these chawls and plan to stall the redevelopment,” the CM said.
“Private builders will not be able to give the facilities that Mhada offers. Mhada can share profits with the people, unlike private builders,” Fadnavis said during his first visit to Mhada’s Bandra headquarters.
But the state will go ahead only after it hears the opinions of the chawl’s residents, Fadnavis said.
“We will hold a public hearing to listen to the views of the residents of these buildings,” the CM said.
The buildings are spread across areas such as Naiguam, Worli, Lower Parel and Sewri — all of which are prime spots in the city.
Since 1996, the state has been pushing for the redevelopment of these chawls — built by the British between 1920 and 1925 — but has failed to make much headway.
Most of the residents are Maharashtrians. They pay Rs100 a month as rent for the 140-160-square-foot houses.
The residents, however, said they prefer the redevelopment be carried out by private builders, who offer them a host of amenities and a corpus funds.
“The residents do not trust Mhada as the quality of construction is poor compared to private builders,” said Raju Waghmare, president, Akhil BDD Rahivashi Mahasangh. “Private builders will give us better amenities, unlike Mhada.”