Even as the state government is planning to get its mass housing agency, Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada) to rebuild sector 5 of Dharavi, it has found that more than 31 percent of the residents in this area are not eligible for free houses under the Rs15,000-crore Dharavi Redevelopment Project.
Non-government organisation (NGO), Mashal, which was given the task of conducting a biometric survey of sector 5, has found that the sale of shanties is a regular feature in Dharavi.
Mashal’s coordinator Dinesh Prabhu said shanties that fetched Rs2 lakh in 2007 are being sold for Rs8 to 10 lakh today, while commercial properties are sold for anything more than Rs12 lakh.
The eligibility issue came up even in the year 2009, when the civic body’s sample survey of sector 3 found that 63% of the residents were not eligible for homes under this scheme.
Mashal has now pulled out of the survey citing non-cooperation from slumdwellers and financial compulsions. “The dwellers get aggressive if we do not give them identity cards. Working there is becoming difficult,” Prabhu said. Dharavi is divided into five sectors and the Mhada chose sector number 5, adjoining Sion and Bandra-Kurla Complex, because it has the lowest density of population.
Last year, the Slum Rehabilitation Authority had written to the state suggesting that only the slum should have a cut-off date and not the occupants. Chief executive officer of Mhada, Satish Gavai, who visited Dharavi on Friday , said, “I am determined to get the project started and prima facie it appears that sector 5 is the best option.”