The state government on Tuesday finally cleared decks for the redevelopment of Dharavi, touted as one of the largest slums in Asia. The redevelopment process will start with sector 5, which is closest to the Bandra-Kurla Complex.
Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan said that the state would issue competitive tenders to contract a firm that will be tasked with constructing homes to rehabilitate 9,000 families eligible for free housing here.
The sector is being redeveloped by Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA), which will auction or commercially exploit the land remaining after rehabilitation. However, there is still uncertainty over how other sectors which have privately-owned lands—like sectors 3 and 4—will be redeveloped. “The project was announced in 2004 but after initial approval there was no development for seven years. Now, there is clarity and it should bring relief to over 60,000 families residing here,” said Chavan.
He added, “The slum eligibility criteria of protecting pre-1995 structures as opposed to persons will also help the redevelopment of Dharavi by bringing more slumdwellers under the net.”
Chavan cleared the final amendment to development control rules on Tuesday, paving the way for the redevelopment of Dharavi. This amendment to DCR 33(9a) and 33(10), specially issued for Dharavi, provides global FSI of 4 to the shanty town. An FSI is the amount of construction allowed on a particular plot. Higher the FSI, more the number of floors that can be added.
Global FSI means that FSI of unused plots in a layout can be utilised for plots under construction. This gives developers the freedom to have buildings with different heights as long as FSI within that sector is restricted to 4.
He said that residents would get 300 sq feet homes, with an additional 100 sq feet available on purchase. A corpus of around 10 years would also be created for maintenance.
However, even after finalising notification for the redevelopment of Dharavi, there is uncertainty over how private lands within the shanty town would be developed.
The chief minister admitted that no decision had been taken to redevelop private lands, which comprise one-fifth of Dharavi.
“Certain groups and NGOs have said that lands which are under private ownership should be given rights for self development through agreeable developers. We have not decided on this,” said Chavan.
He admitted that so far there was no decision on how sectors 3 and 4 would get developed.