NID, export promotion bodies roped in for Dharavi makeover

Written by Prachi Karnik Pradhan | Mumbai | Updated: Sep 17 2007, 06:00am hrs
Against the backdrop of the agitation launched by residents and various political parties, the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA), the nodal agency implementing the Rs 9,500 crore Dharavi re-development project, has entered into a slew of collaborations to market the project to businesses, academics, establishments and professional associations.

T Chandrashekhar, vice-president, Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority and chief executive officer for the Dharavi project, said the project would adopt an integrated development approach.

To begin with, the SRA has entered into collaboration with the Gems & Jewelry Export Promotion Council for setting up around 300 factories to generate employment as well as exports worth Rs 6,000 crore annually.

Similarly, the SRA has entered into an agreement with the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, to market leather crafts and pottery manufactured by industrial units in Dharavi as designer brands.

A senior project official told FE that NID had agreed to upgrade the skills of the leather craftsmen and artists.

Interestingly, the official said major brands, including Metro Shoes and Hi-Design, had responded positively to marketing the leather crafts produced through ventures at Dharavi.

Similar initiatives would also be taken up for other goods, like toys, garments and food products.

The authority is also negotiating with primary and secondary schools to set up facilities in Dharavi. The official said there was also a proposal to create a golf driving range to ensure that green patches of land are not encroached upon.

In addition, ceramic training and leather training institutes will be set up as well as facilities to provide benefits through the Khadi and Village Industries Commission.