Mumbai: The ambitious Bombay Development Directorate (BDD) chawl redevelopment project has been pushed back amid rise in Covid 19 cases in Mumbai. The big-budget housing construction project, which was expected to begin in March-April this year, has been postponed further due to the prevailing pandemic situation, informed the official from Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA), which is a nodal agency for this project. However, residents are upset and have slammed MHADA for its inefficiency to begin the actual construction work till date.
Kiran Mane, General Secretary of BDD Chawl Hakk Savrakshan Samiti said, "MHADA should have created awareness among BDD chawl residents, who are opposing the project. To overcome this issue, we have time and again insisted the authority to set up public relation office. If a dedicated spokesperson is hired for this project it will prevent miscommunication among tenants and create confidence. The Naigoan, NM Joshi Marg BDD chawl redevelopment project has been delayed only due to lack of trust. Also, the situation of Covid arrived last year but this redevelopment project has been affected from the past few years. There has no progress in BDD housing project."
Meanwhile, a few other residents, who have been shifted to transit houses have also expressed disappointment against the government for unable to begin the project work till date. One of the residents said, "We are now worried for how many more years we are supposed to stay in these temporary/transit houses. We shifted from our old house trusting the government that soon we will get a new house in exchange, but since no actual work has been started and even remaining tenants shifting is pending, it now seems to be a distant dream."
The then Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in 2017 held a ground breaking ceremony of Naigoan and NM Joshi Marg BDD chawl redevelopment project. While in 2019 the appointment of contractor for the Worli BDD chawl redevelopment project was finalised. However, till date no construction work on any of these three sites have been started despite appointing renowned companies. According to the proposed plan, the redevelopment will require an expenditure of more than Rs 16,000 crore. There is a total of 195 chawls in these three locations, and after redevelopment every tenant will get a 500-sq ft flat. Currently, the room size in BDD chawl in which tenants are staying is of only 160 sq.ft with common toilet facility on each floor.