CM nod to Dharavi plan, but acquiring land still a hurdle | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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CM nod to Dharavi plan, but acquiring land still a hurdle

mumbai Updated: Aug 08, 2013 09:08 IST
Ketaki Ghoge

Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan on Wednesday gave an in-principle approval to the draft Dharavi redevelopment proposal, which details the land use plan for redevelopment of the slum sprawl, but the project is unlikely to take off anytime soon as land acquisition poses a major hurdle.

At a review meeting, Chavan okayed the plan for redevelopment of four sectors of the slum; the fifth sector is being developed by Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority.

The land use plan was published earlier this year and received 765 suggestions and objections from stakeholders, including state agencies and residents. The redrafted plan includes some of them.

“The civic body had sought a premium for use of 80% of its land, but Chavan asked it to forgo the profit as it would make the project unviable,” an official said.

The big problem now is land acquisition, as 15% of the land that has to be redeveloped is privately owned. “How to acquire this land is a challenge as it is not meant for roads or amenities, but for housing existing residents and for sale in the market.

Can we use the Land Acquisition Act when the requirement is not strictly for public purpose,” said the official.

The government will seek legal opinion before acquiring the land to avoid court disputes and cases.

Tenders for selecting a private developer for redevelopment cannot be issued until the government acquires the land.

The issue of acquiring 10 to 12 acres of encroached railway land was also discussed, and the committee headed by the chief secretary has been assigned the job of finding a solution.

The plan makes way for wider roads, drainage and larger reservation for amenities such as schools, medical facilities and sheds for small-scale industries in the four sectors.

The firm Ernst and Young has been selected as the project management consultant and will prepare bid documents detailing the selection criteria for developers.

The project was mooted in 2004 and has seen one failed bid in 2009.

Its cost has gone up by three times to Rs15,000 crore.