BMC scraps plans to let pvt firms build workers’ quarters | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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BMC scraps plans to let pvt firms build workers’ quarters

The civic body has decided to do away with a controversial scheme through which private builders were to construct quarters for 28,000 workers in return for valuable real estate worth lakhs of square metres.

mumbai Updated: Nov 26, 2012 01:44 IST
Kunal Purohit

The civic body has decided to do away with a controversial scheme through which private builders were to construct quarters for 28,000 workers in return for valuable real estate worth lakhs of square metres.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will now build the homes by spending Rs. 1,800 crores of its own money starting next year.

Called Ashray, the scheme was floated in 2008, under which private companies would build 21,000 tenements for conservancy workers across 36 spots in the city.

Using a Floor Space Index (FSI) of 4, builders would be given 25% of the built-up area as the ‘sale component’.

The BMC would have consequently lost nearly two lakh square meters of land to the firms had the plan gone through.

Aftab Siddiqui, an activist who had made presentations to senior civic officials urging the civic body to scrap the public private partnership (PPP) scheme, said,

“A quarter of the 36 plots amounts to two lakh square metres — a huge bonus that builders would have earned from taxpayers’ money and land. Why should the BMC willingly cause such a huge dent in its pocket?”

Siddiqui’s persistence appears to have paid off.

“We will now approach the state government to grant us an FSI of 4 as a special case, as we have now decided to construct the quarters on our own. The PPP model was draining us of precious land so we decided to scrap the model,” said Mohan Adtani, additional municipal commissioner.

Adtani said the capital expenditure on the project would be immense. “Hence, we have set ourselves a target of 4-5 years to complete the construction of 28,000 tenements. We will spend around Rs350 crore each year, starting 2013-14.”

Under the new scheme, the project will not have a commercial component. “We will not exploit any part of the land. Instead we will use up all the FSI to make tenenments for our staff,” added Adtani.

Accordingly, officials from the planning and design department said they had already started scouting for locations to begin work.

“We plan to start the project in the island city first. We are in the process of shortlisting five locations there,” said the official, requesting anonymity.