After proposing a Metro car shed at Aarey milk colony and opening up no-development zones and saltpan land for affordable housing, another state government initiative has managed to find a mention in the Development Plan (DP) 2034.
The civic body has now drafted special provisions for the long-pending Dharavi redevelopment project (DRP) in the Development Control Regulations (DCR) 2034.
The state government had announced it would create such provisions in a bid to give a fillip to the long-delayed project. This comes in the face of attempts by DRP authorities to attract companies for the Rs25,000-crore redevelopment project.
However, authorities’ efforts have come to naught as no company has shown interest in taking up the project. The new rules, authorities hope, will boost the project.
The move, however, may spark off a controversy. While various politicians, including the Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have promised 400 sqft homes, the newly-drafted DCR has only promised 300 sqft homes to be allotted free of cost. For tenants who had more than 300 sqft homes, the DCR has allotted an additional 100 sqft, but only after they cough up the construction cost of the additional area.
According to the DCR, the cost will have to be paid by the hutment dweller to the developer. Such a move, ahead of next year’s crucial BMC polls, may spark off a fresh controversy between political parties.
Along with this, the DCR has now allowed floor-space index (FSI) of 4 for the DRP.
The project was flagged off in 2004 where the 535-acre slum was divided into five sectors. Of these five, four sectors were to be developed by a private party and the last sector will be developed by Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada).
Tenders for the remaining four sectors will now be invited. The DRP authority had floated tenders for development of 240 hectares, but because of a poor response, the final deadline to submit bids was pushed from April 20 to May 5. The regulations mentioned in the DCR will help the attract bidders, said civic officials.
The experts further claimed that the mention of the project, which was announced a decade ago, in the DCR will mean more congestion in Dharavi. Aravind Unni from Hamara Shehar Mumbai Abhiyaan, said, “This will lead to congestion in an already congested Dharavi. Also, why are no other Special Planning Areas (SPAs) included in the city.”
Pankaj Joshi, executive director of Urban Design Research Institute, said, “The fact that no other SPAs have been included a matter of concern. With no bidders coming up for development, it seems like a move to attract bidders.”