Mumbai: Worli BDD Chawl redevpt awaits nod from BMC’s tree authority

Mumbai: Around 700 trees spread out over 54 acres, stand in the way of the Worli Bombay Development Directorate (BDD) redevelopment project. The Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA), a nodal agency, is awaiting a nod from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation(BMC)’s Tree Authority, headed by civic commissioner Ajoy Mehta and representatives from various parties.

According to sources, around 700 trees spread on 54 acres of the project site need to be felled and transplanted.  However, the Bombay High Court’s orders on October 25, 2018, to the BMC, to appoint an independent expert nominated by members on the panel, until which time there can be no felling of trees, has affected this project.

A senior MHADA official, requesting confidentiality, said a month ago the proposal on trees cutting and transplantation was sent to the BMC for approval, but is still awaiting the final nod. The recent court directions have further delayed the proposal. The officer remarked, “Once the proposal is approved, the BMC will call for suggestions and objections from people. If anyone gives any reply to it, our consultants, who have their own independent team of horticulturists and other tree experts, will give them a hearing.”

The Worli BDD chawl redevelopment project is one of the biggest cluster projects among others — spread over NM Joshi Marg, Dadar, Naigaon and Sewri. The project will be completed in five phases and 87 rehabilitation buildings, excluding saleable units, will be constructed for original tenants.  Around 9,680 residents will be given houses of 500 sq ft carpet area. A Tata-led consortium will undertake the project at the cost of Rs 11,700 crore.

BDD Chawl redevelopment project

The redevelopment project was in the pipeline for the past 14 years but lack of political will and red-tapism has kept the files buried deep until 2014. According to the media reports, BDD Chawl residents will be getting the biggest homes under any redevelopment scheme that is in existence in Mumbai. Every tenant will get 500 sq ft unit worth Rs 2 crore in exchange of 160 sq ft. The tower coming up in Worli will be the tallest with 67-storey while the one in Naigaon and Lower Parel will be 22-storey.

The total estimated cost for the entire project is Rs 16,000 crore. After allotting it to the tenements, the authority will sell the substantial units at an affordable price. The sample flat is ready at Lower Parel and Naigaon and almost 18,000 people have already visited the place.

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