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Dharavi development project inches ahead

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Redevelopment of Asia's largest slum, launched decade ago, has made progress despite hurdles. (AP) Redevelopment of Asia's largest slum, launched decade ago, has made progress despite hurdles. (AP)
SummaryRedevelopment of Asia's largest slum, launched decade ago, has made progress despite hurdles.

The redevelopment of Asia’s largest slum, launched a decade ago, has made progress despite hurdles. The magnitude of the problem is immense, and if Maharashtra can pull this off, it can set an example

One of the largest slums in Asia, Dharavi, could be in for a metamorphosis despite the tug-of-war between various interest groups. The Maharashtra government expects the first phase of the slum redevelopment of Dharavi to be ready by the yearend. But as Mumbai airport redevelopment project shows public private realty project runs the risk of getting tangled in a maze in the city.

Dharavi is a 240-hectare slum situated in central Mumbai. The adjoining areas are lucrative real estate hot spots such as Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC), Sion, Mahim and Bandra among others.

The huge floor-plate to be released after redevelopment of about 60,000 plus shanties would be the one of the biggest ticket size for real estate projects. While the proximity to various railways stations, arterial roads and the highway makes this location attractive the obstacles are the asymmetric information and financial power of the residents vis a vis the developers. The other problem is there is no one comprehensive solution for the development of the area.

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS

“Last month, Ernst & Young won the bid as management consultant for the project. It will now help in revamping sector 1 to 4. They will also conduct feasibility study, explore alternatives and suggest the tendering process,” said an official from Dharavi Redevelopment Authority (DRA).

To tackle the issue of size, the authorities have sub-divided 4 sectors into 13 sub-zones. “The government is now planning to invite phase wise or sub-zone wise bids. Breaking up of sectors into phases would facilitate the bidding process as stakes would be lower and process would be focused.

However, the outline and core norms would continue as township. Although one developer can bid for all phases or cluster, or several developers can pick up one phase each in a sub-sector, the physical dimensions of the old sector will remain the same. The entire process will be monitored by a regulator,” added the official.

Interestingly, out of 240 hectares, railway land, a receiving station of Tata Power and already developed plots are excluded. Also about 28 per cent of the population has sought exclusion or permission for self-development.

According to an official MHADA is constructing in its first phase, a high rise with

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