After his stint in the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA), Nirmalkumar Deshmukh was shifted to the Dharavi Redevelopment Authority (DRA) in January last year. He has been working around to clock and has been instrumental in preparing the roadmap for this ambitious venture
How has the response been to the project?
It has been excellent. We have 16 builders, who took part in the pre-bid meet and they were positive about their project. They had many doubts that we cleared.
Developers say removal of slum dwellers will be the main hurdle because many slum projects face this issue.
The DRA will facilitate the whole process. We will have a dedicated police force and the whole process will be time bound.
The locals complain they are unaware of any plan and have not been taken into confidence.
We are still in the planning stage. The entire plan will be shown to them soon.
Many of the them are demanding 500-750 sqft houses.
Everyone will get houses admeasuring a minimum of 350 sqft. If their houses are bigger, then they will get an additional area of 50 sqft.
Your survey says there are 59,165 hutments, while there are actually more than two lakh structures. How will you rehabilitate the rest?
These are not hutments, but additional mezzanine floors that have increased the number. They are not eligible for the scheme
Dharavi is also known for its trade. The owners of commercial structures are still in the dark about their rehabilitation. They feel they might have to leave Dharavi.
The commercial structures will be rehabilitated in Dharavi itself. There is no question of shifting them.
There are some areas like Baliga Nagar and Shahu Nagar that have already been developed. They want to be excluded.
The scheme cannot go ahead if we go on excluding areas. It is a holistic scheme.