State pushes for Kamathipura’s revampUpdated: Feb 12, 2020 00:55 IST
The state government said it will push for the redevelopment of Kamathipura – Mumbai’s red light area, spread on a staggering 39 acres of prime land in south Mumbai – under the cluster redevelopment policy.
State housing minister Jitendra Awhad said that the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada) will play a pivotal role in the revamp process.
“We will float a global tender and rope in private builders on a joint venture basis, which will ensure bigger houses for the existing tenders as well a larger housing stock for Mhada,” said Awhad. He said project will be on the lines of the Bhendi Bazaar revamp, which is being undertaken by the Saifee Burhani Upliftment Trust (SBUT).
There are around 700 buildings and chawls, housing at least 5,000 tenants, who are living in old, dilapidated structures. A majority of the residents in Kamathipura live in houses measuring an area of 50-180 sqft. Kamathipura which used to be swarming with sex workers for decades, has seen a significant decline in recent years, with barely 25 buildings housing around 500 sex workers now remaining. According to Suresh Kale, President, Sai Cooperative Society, people are living in risky conditions. “We just want redevelopment as our buildings are in bad shape and can collapse anytime,” said Kale.
The Kamathipura Landlord Association (KLA) had, in 2018 assigned renowned project management consultant Sailesh Mahimtura to prepare a feasibility report on the revamp.
However despite floating tenders, there has been no response to these due the slowdown in the realty sector and the inability of the builders to raise huge funds to execute this project.