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.

three wings of 14 to 18 floors each in Sector 5. There would be about 356 tenements of 300 sq ft each. This is expected to be ready by 2014.

Eligibility

As per the eligibility criteria, all slum-dwellers residing prior to January 1, 2000, are eligible for rehabilitation i.e. free housing. However, earlier surveys carried out by a Government arm and by an NGO here show only 20 to 35 per cent of the slum-dwellers are eligible as per the records. Besides, there is also a confusion about who should be considered eligible ó a slum-occupant or owner of that slum or both?

All these have taken political colour as these occupants, whose numbers run into lakhs, are important vote-banks. The demand for a fresh survey to ascertain the correct number of eligible families would mean it will take years to come to an agreed figure.

ďEvery survey creates new list of eligibility and later it is blamed of being wrong... nobody is clear about who should be given free house... Now even people residing on the lofts of the shanties are demanding space ... I do not know when will we get our dream house... may be when my daughterís daughter is ready for marriage,í says Ramanna Pondel, (name changed), a worker in pottery unit in Kumbhar wada segment of Dharavi .

Size of the new unit

The main tussle between the locals and the authorities is about the size of the new unit which the slum-dwellers will get free of cost after redevelopment. At present, the government is giving 300 sq ft homes to those residing in smaller slums and 400 sq ft homes to those staying in larger shanties.

However, some political parties and a few activist groups are demanding 400 sq ft homes for all slum dwellers. ďThe government is going to earn huge amount of revenue in future from selling the commercial area after shifting us. Then why canít we secure our future? Why canít they give some more space for our growing families?Ē says Nandu Jatti (name changed), residing in Sector-3.

Some political outfits and activist groups have already threatened to stop the work until the demand for 400 sq ft homes is not met with. In fact, MHADA had to carry out its work with the help and the protection of the police.

Space for commercial users: Dharavi is also famous for its small

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