One of the BDD chawls
One of the BDD chawls

Larsen and Toubro (L&T) is ready to undertake the Naigaon BDD chawl redevelopment project, confirmed Yogesh Mhase, the CEO of Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority's (MHADA's) Mumbai board on Tuesday.

In August, the company had sent a letter to MHADA seeking to withdraw from the project work due to residents not willing to shift to transit houses despite several efforts. The company was awarded the contract in April 2017 following which it had also made a security deposit of about Rs 140 crore but for the last three years, no civil work could be initiated.

Mhase said, "After receiving a letter of disinterest from L&T we did not initiate the process for a new tender as we were trying to convince them and resolve the issue. And now since they have retracted from their decision, the work will continue from where it was stopped."

When approached L&T, they denied commenting on the said subject.

The MHADA's Mumbai board was appointed as a nodal agency by the state government to carry out the redevelopment of century-old BDD chawls located at three locations --Naigaon, Worli and NM Joshi except at Sewri, as the ownership is with the Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) led by the union government.

As per the plan, the total redevelopment project cost at all three locations is amounting to Rs 17000 crore. Of which Rs 2,800 crore contract was given to L&T for the redevelopment of Naigoan BDD chawls. At present there are 42 chawls having a total of 3,444 tenements, the police families were housed in two of the chawls. Reportedly, as per the plan, the project was supposed to be completed in seven phases. However, the two chawls in which the police families live, their shifting was the responsibility of the police department. But to date, no one has moved to transit houses due to internal legal disputes and the project has not begun, the MHADA officials explained.

Similarly, MHADA's plan to conduct a lottery of houses for the NM Joshi Marg BDD chawl tenants who have shifted to transit houses has flopped several times due to no appointment from the Chief Minister's office. The lottery was planned so to attain the trust of residents to support the project. Through this lottery scheme, tenants would have understood on which floor of the newly constructed buildings they will have their flats/houses.

Besides this, sample flats have also been made at Naigaon and Worli to convince residents. Post redevelopment, tenants will get a 500 sq. ft new flat with an attached toilet facility and other amenities including parking space. Currently, tenants have a common toilet facility on each floor of the chawl.

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