Sewri-Worli corridor: Affected people worry about relocation, compensation | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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Sewri-Worli corridor: Affected people worry about relocation, compensation

ByNiraj Pandit and Jeet Mashru
Dec 24, 2022 12:46 AM IST

Over the last six months, MMRDA has shifted nearly 800 project-affected people (PAP) from Sewri. While they welcome urban development, they are uncomfortable with what’s on offer – monetary compensation and physical displacement, which will affect steady businesses.

Mumbai: Residents and owners of commercial establishments in Parel and Elphinstone have been a distressed lot for over two months when they received a notice from the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) summoning them to its office to discuss their relocation in order to facilitate the construction of the Sewri-Worli Elevated Corridor project.

Mumbai: Projected affected people demand satisfactory compensation as 386 properties including shops and houses in Parel and Prabhadevi area will have to be demolished for the Sewree Nava Sheva Connector Project, in Mumbai.(Satish Bate/Hindustan Times)
Mumbai: Projected affected people demand satisfactory compensation as 386 properties including shops and houses in Parel and Prabhadevi area will have to be demolished for the Sewree Nava Sheva Connector Project, in Mumbai.(Satish Bate/Hindustan Times)

Their homes and shops, 386 in all, stand cheek by jowl along the 100-year-old Elphinstone bridge, near Prabhadevi and Parel railway stations. Over the last six months, MMRDA has shifted nearly 800 project-affected people (PAP) from Sewri.

While they welcome urban development, they are uncomfortable with what’s on offer – monetary compensation and physical displacement, which will affect steady businesses. They have alleged that MMRDA is yet to offer any clarity on the way forward.

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Equally agonising is being tossed from one decision-making body to another for transparency. A local salon owner, Uday Mane summarised the issue as he said, “Initially, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) was tasked with the rehabilitation. After a while, we learnt that it was to be done by MMRDA. MMRDA officials said they have no land left in the same locality for us. They offered us to pay rents for our original shops until new ones are allotted.” This is not a favourable deal for old-timers like him since shifting the business to new location would translate to loss of dedicated clientele. “Besides, I will have to spend nearly 15 lakhs doing up the new salon and then return to the original place after two years. It will kill my business completely,” added Mane, whose family has been in the vocation for three generations.

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“This is at least a 115-year-old building. We have no problem with development but are unsure about what will happen to us,” he said.

SVR Srinivas, the commissioner of MMRDA said, while some citizens want one-time compensation others are amenable to a temporary rented place. “These are almost or more than century old cessed dilapidated buildings. They may collapse too as they are in 'C' category structurally. Even then, MMRDA is compensating them. The Prescribing Road Line was defined by BMC on this road. We are yet to sign off on this. Some have requested for shops in the BMC-owned Shirodkar Market, on the opposite side of the road. We have to speak to BMC about this. We want to complete the project fast. This is an important connector as it links with the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) as well as the Coastal Road; it will ease connectivity.”

Sandeep Warang, whose ground-plus-one house and four shops, built in 1947, will also be razed for the project said, “The contractor’s men arrived here on Friday to mark out the area. My house and shops will all be gone. MMRDA is not telling us where we will be shifted or what will be the compensation. They only keep calling us for meetings.” They have had around five meetings since receiving the notice.

The hapless residents and shopkeepers have now formed an association -- Jagannath Bhatankar Marg Rahivasi Malak Sangh – to project a common voice.

One of the members said, “We are not asking for extra money but the government is offering us Ready Reckoner rate, which is at least 50 per cent less than the market rate. A shop which has a market value of 1.75 crore is being offered 70 to 80 lakhs only. The displacement will also cost us the goodwill we have earned from our clients over the years.”

Members of the association have also met chief minister Eknath Shinde; they said, despite Shinde’s “verbal assurances, the issue is not resolved”.

“Many generations have lived here. No one approached us when the project was planned 10 years ago. Now, they want to hasten the process and say there is paucity of land here, whereas there are empty plots which can be used. We still await clarity from them,” said Abhay Amdekar, a shopkeeper from the area.

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