Fate of BDD Chawl redevelopment hangs in balance

The fate of the much awaited redevelopment of century old Bombay Development Directorate Chawls (BDD) at Worli, NM Joshi and Naigoan hangs in balance. In a recent development, as L&T has withdrawn from the Naigoan BDD Chawl redevelopment project, the residents, who were supporting the projects, are despairing now.

A senior MHADA official who did not wish to be named said, "As L&T is not interested to undertake the redevelopment work, a proposal regarding termination of the said contractor has been sent to MHADA committee led by CEO, vice president, chief engineer and once it is approved, it will be sent to the state high powered committee for its approval."

On the matter, the Akhil BDD Chawl Badekaru Hakk Sanrakshan Samiti (Residents Association) General Secretary Kiran Mane alleged, "In Naigoan, local politicians are spreading wrong information about the project that once tenants shift to transit houses their fate will also be like other stuck redevelopment project residents. They too have to spend their lives in the transit houses only and will not see new houses. The project will be delayed forever, developing distrust among the people."

The MHADA being a nodal agency for all BDD Chawls redevelopment work should act and take action against those who are obstructing the project by spreading misinformation, he demanded.

"In Mumbai, hundreds of redevelopment projects initiated by private developers are stalled. While in BDD case, the project has been initiated by the government by appointing renowned developers. Thus, being a representative of residents' association I am surprised that no efforts are being put to expedite the redevelopment work from the government's end," he stated.

The previous Devendra Fadnavis government had issued tenders to undertake the proposed redevelopment of BDD Chawls. Under this project, the original tenants were promised 500 square feet new houses with attached toilet facility besides other amenities.

The project’s ground breaking ceremony was held in April 2017 and even after passing of three years, construction work of the building on any of the sites is yet to be started.

The plan to conduct lottery for NM Joshi Marg, the BDD Chawls residents who shifted to transit houses also postponed three times due to COVID and CM Uddhav Thackeray being busy in other works.

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