Residents, experts not convinced about revamp of Mumbai’s Dharavi slum
The state cabinet gave a go-ahead to redevelop the entire 535 acres of Dharavi slum by setting up a special purpose vehicle and floating one global tender for the entire project.
Although the state government on Tuesday announced its decision to revive the long-pending Dharavi Redevelopment Project, residents of the slum cluster and real estate experts seem unconvinced that the plan would work.
The state cabinet gave a go-ahead to redevelop the entire 535 acres of Dharavi slum by setting up a special purpose vehicle and floating one global tender for the entire project. The earlier plan was to divide Dharavi, the largest slum pocket in India from Sion to BKC, into five sectors for easier redevelopment.
Real estate experts have said slowdown in the construction sector has put a question mark on the project. The state has proposed that 59,160 families living here before 2000 will get free houses and those who moved here from 2000 to 2011 will be given subsidised homes.
“How can the scheme work when it excludes majority of residents? People will not pay when others are getting free houses,” said Waqar Khan, founder of Nehru Nagar Bindeshwari Cooperative Society at 90 feet road.
Locals claim that Dharavi has more than 2 lakh hutments.
The residents of Matunga Labour camp, who live in chawls and buildings, want the government to exclude them from the project. “We don’t live in slums. While slum dwellers are getting 350 square feet area, we are getting 405 square feet which is unfair. We should at least get 500sqft like the BDD residents,” said Ravi Naidu, a resident.
According to Liases Foras, the real estate research firm, it will be difficult to mop up such large-scale investment in the current scenario. “Builders are very cautious with funds and the project of this scale requires massive capital infusion,” said Pankaj Kapoor, CEO, Liases Foras.
Real estate expert Sunil Bajaj warned that this was not a normal revamp project and needs creative planning.