The makeover of Dharavi, India’s biggest slum, is facing a roadblock.
A Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) survey in one of the slum’s five sectors revealed that 63 per cent of the residents were not eligible for free houses. That’s because they came to stay in Mumbai after January 1, 2000, the cut-off for slum legalisation.
Dharavi Redevelopment Plan (DRP) and BMC officials said the situation is likely to be the same in the other four clusters. DRP officials have asked the state government for advice on what to do next.
In the survey conducted in Sector 4, only 3,127 families of the 8,478 were eligible for free houses.
A DRP official said there would be a law and order problem if so many families were left out of the redevelopment.
Narayan Pai, BMC assistant commissioner (G-North), who conducted the survey, would only say: “It was an internal communication between us and DRP.”
This is not the first hiccup in the project. Only seven of the 14 final bidders submitted memorandums of understanding (MoUs) that they were to sign with their foreign partners. The MoUs were to ensure that the bidders did not face any problems induced by the economic slowdown.
Chief Secretary Johny Joseph said the Dharavi project would proceed smoothly. “We will remove all the hurdles,” he said.