The first meeting of the finance committee was held to check the viability gap funding for the proposed redevelopment plan for the Prime Minister's Grant Programme (PMGP) of 66 colonies in Mumbai. The Mumbai Building Repairs and Reconstruction Board (MBRRB) will be developing these old colonies.
Vinod Ghosalkar, former MLA and the chairman of MBRRB said, "I will soon meet Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Housing Minister Jitendra Awhad to discuss what we can do to expedite the redevelopment of these colonies. A policy decision needs to be taken. Funding agencies participated in the meeting and showed great interest."
As a pilot project, eight colonies out of 66 will be redeveloped. For this, Rs 2,200 crore will be required. “While funding agencies are ready to pour in the money, 10 per cent of the estimated project cost needs to be paid by the board initially. How will the board raise this 10 per cent amount? A detailed discussion needs to be held," Ghosalkar added.
These 66 colonies situated in Umerkhadi, Lower Parel and Marine Lines were built in the mid 80's and early 90's, are over 35 years old and need to undergo urgent redevelopment. According to the board, once redeveloped, tenants will be able to obtain new houses and ample housing stock can be generated. These extra houses can be sold in the open market through a lottery scheme. "It's high time that the board redevelops these age-old structures. The repair work cannot be held forever. Why should tenants struggle to find a builder, if MHADA can do so easily?" Ghosalkar asserted.
Hundreds of redevelopment projects of cessed buildings are stalled or incomplete in the city. “If MBRRB doesn't initiate timely redevelopment of all these PMGP built colonies, Its status will be no different than these abandoned cessed buildings redevelopment projects,” Ghosalkar stated.
The then PM Rajiv Gandhi had announced Rs 100 crore for various development projects in Mumbai, including Rs 40 crore for redevelopment of old dilapidated buildings. Under the scheme, 239 old buildings were redeveloped and 66 new ones were constructed, giving accommodation to 6,000 families.
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