A week after the state government announced the revamp of the sprawling Government Colony at Bandra, it has revealed plans for another such major project.
The state Housing department is preparing plans for the redevelopment of the Bombay Development Department (BDD) chawls located across central Mumbai.
The state will rope in private developers for the revamp of this 92.86 acre realty goldmine of 207 buildings in Worli, Naigaum, Lower Parel and Sewri.
“The redevelopment plan will be placed before the Cabinet for approval next month,” said Sachin Ahir, Minister of State for Housing.
Ahir said he is building consensus among political parties to ensure the plan is passed without hiccups.
The Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada) will be the nodal agency for this project and will partner with the developer chosen.
The developer will have to offer the 16,544 tenants of these chawls free homes and hand over a substantial number of houses to Mhada.
The housing agency will sell these flats at subsidised rates. In return, the developer will be allowed to exploit a portion of this land to make profit.
Mhada had offered to execute the project entirely but the state government feels Mhada does not have the expertise required for redevelopment.
The state will call for tenders and offer the project to the highest bidder. “We will get new low cost houses in the heart of the city and also generate money to develop infrastructure,” Ahir said.
The British built the BDD chawls, housing 160 square foot rooms, between 1921 and 1925. After Independence, the Maharashtra government’s Public Works Department took over these buildings. The monthly rent for a house in a BDD chawl is Rs 100. Experts have welcomed the move.
Anuj Puri, chairman and country head, Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj said, “The infrastructure in this place has deteriorated and this provides an excellent chance to ensure planned development on this large parcel of land.”
Puri added that Mhada’s presence will ensure low cost housing is created.