87 acres from Railways to put Dharavi redevelopment plan on right track
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87 acres from Railways to put Dharavi redevelopment plan on right track

The Devendra Fadnavis-led government is trying to kick-start the project, which was mooted in 2004, but has been stuck for more than a decade owing to various reasons.

mumbai Updated: Dec 05, 2018 15:37 IST
Aroosa Ahmed
Aroosa Ahmed
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
dharavi redevelopment plan,indian railways,maharashtra govt
An aerial view of Mumbai’s Dharavi slum. (HT File )

In a boost to Maharashtra’s ambitious Dharavi redevelopment plan, the railways have offered its 87-acre land in central Mumbai for the project. This means, the first township of the project, with 52,000 houses, 13,000 commercial units and a central park, may come up between Matunga and Sion.

The central and western railway own 242 acres between Dharavi and Dadar. Officials said the details of the proposal were discussed in a meeting in Mantralaya last week and CR, WR and state will start a joint survey soon.

Maharashtra housing minister Prakash Mehta said, “The government needs the land to redevelop the entire area. The state government is assured about the possible outcome.”

The Devendra Fadnavis-led government is trying to kick-start the project, which was mooted in 2004, but has been stuck for more than a decade owing to various reasons, including complex nature of the redevelopment process and decline in real estate market. The government recently invited global tenders for the project.

As part of the proposal, the railways will help develop a township, with buildings up to 24 floors. The ground structures of the building will be used for commercial purposes. A direct connect between Dharavi and the commercial hub of Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC), too, has been planned.

Senior officials from the state, CR, WR, civic body and slum rehabilitation authority (SRA) attended the meet. “Currently, there are 36,000 residential units and close to 10,000 commercial units in the area. After the development, the area will become similar to BKC, with a shopping hub in the vicinity. The discussion on construction will begin after the land survey,” said an official who attended the meeting.

The railway land, on which the development is being planned, has close to 1,200 residential plots, of which most are railway quarters, Matunga railway workshop, railway protection force (RPF) ground and western railway ground. “The land is spread over Dharavi and Dadar. A deadline has not been set,” said a senior railway official.

However, it is not clear what the railways will get in return. The compensation could be in the form of higher floor space index (FSI), which can be used to commercially exploit the plot.

Currently, the railways don’t have a policy for slum rehabilitation on railway land. “The policy will have to be changed before acquisition of land,” said a railway board official.

First Published: Dec 05, 2018 15:37 IST