TENANTS SINCE before 1996, the cut-off year, will not need to show proof of tenancy to be eligible for rehousing under the Bombay Development Directorate (BDD) chawl redevelopment project. The Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) has relaxed the rules for tenant identification. In addition to this, the nodal agency will not conduct a biometric survey of chawl residents.
In April 2017, the MHADA kicked off redevelopment work on century-old buildings located in the heart of the city in areas such as Worli, Naigaum and N M Joshi Marg. Over 16,000 families live in these buildings.
Tenants had protested the biometric survey and many did not have any proof that they were residents of the chawl since before 1996. A letter to the MHADA from an association of residents’ representatives dated September 20, 2017, states that tenants’ demands included a corpus fund of Rs 17 lakh to Rs 25 lakh, cancellation of the proposed biometric survey and relaxation of eligiblity-related documents, since the Public Works Department already had lists of chawl residents.
A senior officer from the MHADA said there will be no biometric survey. The housing authority also created a cell to decide eligibility of tenants that will now simply be based on the Aadhaar card, PAN card or voter identification card. Soon, new guidelines for the project will be released, accepting all the tenants’ demands except a corpus fund.
The British had developed the BDD chawls in the 1920s as a low-cost housing solution for the city. The chawls are spread over 93 acres in Worli, Naigaon, N M Joshi Marg and Sewri. They comprise 160-sq ft tenements with common bathrooms and toilets. After redevelopment, tenants will get a home of 500 sq ft area. In addition, over 8,000 flats will also be available to the MHADA for auction.