Till last week, Sudhir Tendulkar was living in a 135-sqft room in a chawl. Today, the 60-year-old is mesmerised by the view of the Mahalaxmi racecourse and the sea visible from his new home on the 23rd floor.
Homemaker Anjali Chavan is also proudly showing off her new 440-sqft house in Vignaharta CHS to her relatives. “I don’t have to worry about my son’s marriage anymore. Now, I have a big house which has toilets inside,” she said.
Tendulkar and Chavan are among the 565 residents of the Hazi Kasam Chawl at Lalbaug who have moved to their new homes under the ambitious Cluster Redevelopment Scheme by the state government.
Nish Developers were the first to secure permission to redevelop their seven acre property under the cluster scheme.
According to Nishant Agarwal, executive director, Nish Developers, the residents have been provided with the best facilities. “We have a constructed green building and also installed water recycling plants for the residents,” he said, adding that this would ensure uninterrupted water supply and reduce power bills by 35%. Other amenities included are a health club, garden and community halls.
According to Agarwal, the state government needs to do more to encourage the scheme. “We need more incentives. Securing hundreds of consent letters [from residents] is a big headache,” he said.
However, residents who have spent decades in matchbox sized leaky rooms and crumbling structures are looking forward to living in new swanky apartments. “Now I can proudly call my friends over,” said Krishna Parab, 35, who lives with eight of his family members. “I won’t have to sleep outside the house anymore.”
The cluster redevelopment scheme, which gave incentives to anyone undertaking revamp for more than 1 acre, plot has been a slow starter. Till now just five projects have got the green signal while work has started only in one.