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Mahim fort restoration: Slum dwellers to be rehabilitated

BMC along with MMRDA and SRA plan homes for 267 encroachers staying there since 1970

Dipti Singh | Updated on: Friday, January 21, 2022, 08:54 AM IST

Mahim fort | Twitter/@mumbaimatterz
Mahim fort | Twitter/@mumbaimatterz
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As the 800-year-old Mahim Fort is set to undergo a revamp and restoration, the state government and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is all set to get hutments in and around it cleared.

The Mumbai civic body with the assistance of MMRDA and SRA is planning to shift and rehabilitate the slum dwellers in Malad and Kurla, the decision will be taken within a fortnight, civic officials said.

According to BMC officials, there are currently 267 encroachers in and around the fort structure, who have been there since 1970. As the number of anti-social activities increased in the vicinity, gradually the tourists turned their backs on this fort.

The restoration had been on the civic body's list for years now, however, removing the encroachment and rehabilitation had been a challenge, which had put the project on a standstill. "A majority of these 267 dwellers have been found eligible for rehabilitation. Hence MMRDA and SRA were involved in the matter. The two agencies will help us by providing permanent houses to the families living in these 267 hutments.

The land, however, is owned by the Customs department and is under the central government from where we have sought a No objection Certificate (NOC). Following the NOC and required approvals, BMC will restore the fort, for which the tender process will be initiated," said Kiran Dighavkar, Assistant Municipal Commissioner of G north ward (Mahim, Dadar, Dharavi and Planning department). Dighavkar added, "Following a push from the Maharashtra tourism minister, the state government has taken a multi-pronged approach with all departments and BMC to the archaeology department, MMRDA and the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) have been roped in.

This will ensure that the eligible hut owners in Mahim Fort will be rehabilitated in permanent houses clearing the premises and making way for the restoration work to begin. The renovation work of the fort will be undertaken after the appointment of an archaeological architect," he added.

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Published on: Friday, January 21, 2022, 08:54 AM IST