New life: Redevelopment plan offers ray of hope to Umarkhadi buildings

Jan 11 2013, 15:41 IST
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SummaryThere are 67 such buildings consisting of about a thousand tenements spread across the city in areas such as Kamathipura, Byculla, Dharavi, Dadar and Umarkhadi.

The Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) has proposed redevelopment of buildings constructed in the 1980s under the Prime Minister’s Grant Programme for affordable housing during Rajiv Gandhi’s tenure as the PM.

There are 67 such buildings consisting of about a thousand tenements spread across the city in areas such as Kamathipura, Byculla, Dharavi, Dadar and Umarkhadi. The buildings in Umarkhadi have about 200 occupants. These have not been getting any funds from the state or the Centre for maintenance and repairs.

As a pilot project, MHADA has sent a proposal to the state government to redevelop six such buildings in Umarkhadi near Mazgaon and rehabilitate the occupants.

“The buildings are in a bad condition and beyond repair. For several years, there have been no dedicated funds for their upkeep. If the trial proposal for Umarkhadi works out, we will tend to the other buildings constructed under this scheme,” said Prasad Lad, chairman of MHADA’s repair and reconstruction board.

Lad said the proposal has received the nod of Sachin Ahir, state minister for housing, and has been dispatched to the Chief Minister about three weeks ago for his approval.

“The biggest advantage for tenants will be that they will own the houses. Under the Prime Minister’s Grants Programme, the ownership of houses was not under their name. Secondly, they will get bigger houses in new buildings,” Lad said.

The flats in these buildings are currently of the size of about 160-180 sq ft, while MHADA will build apartments that are 300 sq ft.

The surplus houses that MHADA will get after rehabilitating tenants will be used to resettle families that figure in the repair and reconstruction board’s master list.

The master list comprises project-affected families that are currently living in MHADA’s transit camps across the city and awaiting resettlement.

Lad said MHADA is in the process of preparing a master list for 2,200 project-affected people living in its transit camps. The list is expected to be ready by March after which MHADA will start shifting the families out of transit camps.

Benefits for tenants

Bigger houses of 300 sq ft. They are currently living in 160-sq ft homes

They will be owners of the homes they get under MHADA’s proposed redevelopment plan

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