The state agency in charge of the ambitious Dharavi revamp project — Dharavi Redevelopment Authority (DRA) — has set strict and ambitious deadlines to put the project on track before the upcoming 2017 civic polls as it gears up to call for tenders.
According to the draft bid documents, the authority aims to complete the survey of over 3.5 lakh residents of Dharavi to determine their eligibility for free housing in the redeveloped cluster within six months.
The authority plans to commit to the crunched time-frame as part of the obligations of the state government in the tender documents. However, the government machinery had previously taken over a year to survey just 3 percent of this number, 1,058 households of two slum clusters, to house them in the single building completed in Dharavi’s Sector 5.
“Since we have set stringent deadlines for developers who are awarded works for the Dharavi redevelopment project, there are some activities that we as a government authority will also have to fulfill in time to facilitate the process. These will be the commitments from our side when we enter into an agreement,” said a senior DRA official.
Besides certifying those eligible for free housing under the project in six months, the authority also targets to dispose of all appeals by families who would be declared ineligible within the next four months. Further, it plans to facilitate the eviction of those families within three months after disposing of their appeals.
“We don’t think evicting ineligible slum dwellers from Dharavi would be as difficult as one imagines because according to our estimate, 90 percent of the residents should be eligible according to the state’s norms. Dharavi is full of old slum clusters. So most shanties will date back to 2000 which is the cut-off date for determining eligibility for rehabilitation,” the official said.
Besides, the state authority promises to make all private land that is part of the redevelopment project available in four months and sanction all building permissions within sixty days from the date of application.
It will also facilitate the process of securing approvals from various agencies such as the BMC, high-rise committee, police, railways, aviation ministry, environment ministry, coastal zone management authority and so on.
Overall, DRA which will oversee the redevelopment of four sectors of Dharavi on a public private partnership model, aims to complete the entire Rs 25,000-crore project in seven years.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis recently approved the bid documents for the same, paving the way for the authority to start the tendering process. It would award work of four sectors to four different developers based on competitive bidding. Dharavi, famous as Asia’s largest slum on the global tourist map, is spread over an area of 24.03 lakh with the first four sectors covering 17.83 square metres or over 74 per cent of the entire slum sprawl.
The erstwhile Congress-NCP government had handed over the mandate of redeveloping Dharavi’s Sector 5 to the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) in 2011 to show some activity in the stalled project before the 2012 BMC elections.