Dharavi redevelopment begins, finally

Sena says it will stall work if bigger tenements demand not met

After a delay of more than three months, MHADA finally started Dharavi redevelopment last month amid protests by political parties that are demanding bigger homes under the project.

The ambitious Dharavi redevelopment plan includes construction of 356 tenements in the first phase in sector 5.

The work, expected to start in August, was delayed due to protests led by Shiv Sena.

Minister of state for housing Sachin Ahir said, "Construction of a highrise with three wings in the first phase is being taken up in sector 5."

MHADA has to construct a highrise with three wings of 14 floors each in sector 5. The contract to build 356 tenements of 300 square feet each has been awarded to B G Shirke Construction.

Local politicians and residents under Dharavi Bachao Andolan have been demanding tenements of 400 square feet.

"Dharavi sector 5 redevelopment began about two weeks ago. Piling work is on. It is true there were protests by a certain political party, which is demanding bigger houses. However, we told it government guidelines did not permit bigger structures. The 356 tenements are expected to be ready by early 2014," said Satish Gawai, MHADA vice-president.

Meanwhile, former Shiv Sena MLA Baburao Mane said, "We will not allow the work in sector 5 to be completed till our demand for bigger homes is not met."

Project management consultants Premnath Group are supposed to carry out fresh geographic information system and management information system surveys, besides planning and designing the 65-hectare plot in sector 5.

Detailed socioeconomic, plain table and biometric surveys have been carried out.

As per a government notification, all slum-dwellers living in structures prior to 2000 will be eligible for the one-bedroom apartments with balconies.

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