Awaited redevelopment of BDD chawls at NM Joshi Marg will begin

MUMBAI: The much-awaited redevelopment of the Bombay Development Directorate (BDD) chawls at NM Joshi Marg will begin only after the draw of lots for rehab buildings, said an official with the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA), on condition of anonymity. The state housing authority plans to conduct the draw of lots in a month’s time. However, the authority will finalise the date only once the ministry portfolios are distributed.

The official asserted that as cabinet expansion has taken place on December 30, the portfolios accumulated with the six cabinet ministers, who took oath along with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray in the first round, will now be distributed. Currently, NCP’s Jayant Patil is in charge of the housing ministry. Though a meeting was conducted with Minister Patil, only after portfolios are confirmed a detailed presentation about the BDD chawls’ redevelopment project will be made and the date for the draw of lots decided, explained the official.

Interestingly, the NM Joshi Marg BDD Chawls Phase-1 project construction work was expected to begin last year after Diwali. However, unable to vacate the first 10 chawls the project missed the deadline, and the plan failed to take off.

This paper had reported that in a bid to expedite the shifting of tenants, the MHADA has come up with an offer asking tenants to shift to transit houses wherein on first come first basis they will get an opportunity to participate in the lottery draw. By conducting this lottery draw, the participant tenants will know which floors of the new buildings their houses will be located. The lottery for rehab houses will be held from the top floors of the 22-storeyed building.

Besides, MHADA will also sign an agreement with the lottery winners, giving a surety that they will get their houses back, unlike the city’s other stuck redevelopment projects undertaken mostly by the private developers.

MHADA is drawing the lottery of top floor houses after tenants even after repeated appeals were not willing to leave their houses and shift to the provided alternative places. Following which, this offer was made in a bid to lure residents of getting houses on the top floors of the buildings once ready. So far, 252 families have shifted to the transit houses, informed the official.

At NM Joshi, the authority as per the approved plans will construct seven towers comprising 22 floors each in phase-1, which will house 1,200 tenements. To construct the seven new towers, 10 existing chawls are required to be demolished first.

The tenants of NM Joshi Marg, including Dadar-Naigaon BDD Chawl tenants, are provided alternative accommodation in mill buildings. Ruby Mill, Jubilee Mill, Prakash Cotton Mill, Western India Mill, Century Mill, and Bharat Mill are the six mills that have been identified and have a total of 1,127 transit houses, according to the MHADA.

The then chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had performed the ground-breaking ceremony in April 2017. However, till date, not a single brick has been laid. MHADA, on the other end, is still convincing residents to support the redevelopment of century-old BDD chawls, which have been planned costing of Rs 17,000 crore approximately. If successfully completed, about 16,000 families living in BDD chawls at NM Joshi, Naigaon and Worli will get new 500 square feet of flats free of cost.

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