In a big relief to 672 residents, the Maharashtra Cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday approved the redevelopment of Goregaon’s Patra Chawl pending since 2008. This was announced by Housing Minister Jitendra Awhad. Thackeray instructed to carry out a time-bound redevelopment of Patra Chawl.
‘’Cabinet today approved the redevelopment of Siddharth Nagar (Patra Chawl) which has been stalled since 2008. 672 residents will receive homes in the next two years. I got this opportunity to serve the poor. I will personally look into the project so that they can go to their homes as soon as possible,’’ said Awhad in a tweet.
The 672 tenants were promised to be rehabilitated in exchange of their old houses in Goregaon's Patra Chawl therefore they vacated the property in 2007. However, the developer Guruashish Constructions, a subsidiary of HDIL went into insolvency in 2017 and since then tenants were left without transit rent payments. The construction work too stopped. Moreover, 306 tenements that the developer was to hand over to MHADA for distribution through its lottery system, are also incomplete.
The government had appointed a one-man committee in January 2020 led by former chief secretary Johny Joseph to look into tenants’ rehabilitation and make suggestions over how to pay rents to the deprived families. In addition, the committee was also tasked to make suggestions on completion of 307 lottery tenements but only part one of the report has been submitted.
Joseph led committee had suggested that MHADA should undertake the incomplete redevelopment project and give Rs 15,000 per family as rent till the project work is completed. Moreover, by using the current Floor Space Index (FSI) of 4 the project work should be executed.
However, the Patra Chawl Action Committee had rejected the findings of the Joseph Committee. It had argued that MHADA will make a profit of at least Rs 1,000 crore.
Besides, the committee said there was no mention about the Rs 25 crore corpus fund to be given to tenants of Patra Chawl as per the previous agreement. Nothing has been mentioned about the five year pending rents from the builder. The committee said the project planning was made as per 2.5 FSI and MHADA now can carry out the remaining work at an FSI of 4. Therefore, tenants should be given the benefit of the new FSI too.