The Dharavi redevelopment - one of Mumbai's ambitious slum revamp project worth Rs15,000 crore - is all set to take off in May with its first phase of construction of 344 houses for the slumdwellers.
The Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada), which will be responsible for redeveloping sector 5, would begin the construction of the vacant plots on the land it owns. According to a senior Mhada official, who is overseeing the project, the contractors would be appointed within a month. "The work will start in the next three months and it will take at least two years to complete the construction," he said.
In the first phase, of the 62 hectares in sector 5, work will be carried out on the 7 hectares of land owned by Mhada. "We will not displace anyone. We want people to see the kind of buildings we are constructing, so that they get the confidence to move here," he said.
All the buildings will have rooms admeasuring 300 sqft for the residents. As part of the project, 23 hectares of land in sector 5 will be developed leading to rehabilitation of 9,300 hutments. The revamp would begin from Sion station heading towards Sant Rohidas Marg, Rajiv Gandhi Nagar, and then at the areas along the Mahim creek and Mahim Nature Park, Prem Nagar and LBS Road.
Currently, the seed money for the project is Rs50 crore and there are indications that Rs250 crore would be added to Mhada's kitty. According to experts, the total cost for sector 5 may approximately come to Rs2,500 crore.
The revamp plan, mooted in 2004, has been facing a host of problems over the years. The global tenders to select the developers were scrapped recently. The state government, last year, decided to hand over sector 5 to Mhada with an aim of creating affordable houses.
The development authority will undertake phase II simultaneously and plans to float a tender to appoint its own project management consultant (PMC). The PMC would be required to undertake social survey, development plan and land analysis and study the financial viability of the project. "We will give him one year to prepare a roadmap to implement the project," said the official.