Concerned about the rapidly deteriorating condition of the staff quarters in Parel and Santacruz, the Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) plans to redevelop nearly 55 buildings spread across 4.5 acre.
The staff quarters at Parel have 20 buildings on 3-acre land, while Santacruz has 35 buildings on 1.5 acre.
The authorities have also asked the state government to consider their request of developing nearly 1,500 quarters present under the cluster redevelopment scheme, which would give the undertaking an additional FSI (floor space index) of 4. This would convert the present ground plus two or five-storey buildings to skyscrapers.
Under normal circumstances, the BEST would get an additional FSI of 1.3 for redevelopment. “We are looking at the option of giving 15% of the developed plot for commercial use. We are in the process of studying the course of redevelopment,” said OP Gupta, general manager, BEST.
The current property rates at Parel, which is famous for houses of mill workers and lock-down mills around the area, and Santacruz, which is situated in the heart of suburbs , would fetch a strong asset base for BEST.
The administration has also chalked out two other options, namely redeveloping the buildings on its own and making it a 100% residential one, or give it on built, operate and transfer (BOT) basis to a private developer. However, officials said both options were unfeasible for the BEST.
The redevelopment was proposed since quarters at both locations were more that 50 years old and were structurally weak. "The exterior of the buildings in the staff quarters are in a bad shape. There is garbage and sewage water flowing all around," said Sunil Ganacharya, member of the BEST committee.
In all, BEST houses nearly 50,000 of its staff members at 22 different locations in the city. The deteriorating state of six of the staff quarters – Majas Wadi, Byculla, Oshiwara, Chandivli, Parel, and Santacruz – is a major cause for concern for the undertaking.
Officials said they were especially concerned since they quarters at Parel and Santacruz were the worst of the lot. They feared for the staff members living there since the structures may further deteriorate in the monsoon.
The BEST has received fresh applications from 4,500 employees for houses. The committee members are no exploring the possibility of having buildings at Anik and Prateeksha Nagar where land is in excess.