Mumbai: The Maharashtra government today conceded that the BDD (Bombay Development Directorate) chawls spread across the city are “beyond repairs” and redevelopment of these dilapidated buildings will start by this year-end. During the Question Hour, Vijay Girkar (BJP) raised the issue of redevelopment of BDD chawls and said that about Rs 100 crore has been spent by the state government on the repair work of these structures.
“If this is true, then why have most residents spent from their own pockets to undertake repairs? When residents are spending money for the work, it is necessary that there is an inquiry into the spending of money by the government on these chawls,” he demanded.
Replying to him, Co-operative Minister Chandrakant Patil said that 80,000 people are staying across 207 chawls spread across Mumbai and a total of Rs 140 crore, 53 lakhs has been spent by the state government for repair of these chawls from 2007-2014.
“There is no corruption in the repair work. If people have spent money, they have done so to repair and extend their own rooms,” Patil said. Prakash Binsale then asked how much money has been spent on the structural work of these buildings and if these buildings are in a good condition. To which Patil said, “It is not possible for government to do the structural repair of every room in these chawls. But the government has been spending around 154 crore every year to carry out other repair works like drainage, etc.”
“These buildings are about 93-years-old and hence are not in a good condition,” Patil pointed out. Sunil Tatkare (NCP) then asked the government to announce a time-bound plan for the redevelopment of these buildings. Replying, Patil said that Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had met concerned officials yesterday. The redevelopment of these chawls will start by the end of 2015, he said. The British had developed BDD chawls in the 1920s as a low-cost housing solution for the city. There are 207 chawls spread across 93 acres in Worli, Naigaon, NM Joshi Marg and Sewri.