The state government, for the first time, has decided to undertake repair work on 66 rickety and extremely decrepit buildings, located across the city. The buildings are located in areas such as Kamathipura, Byculla, Mazgaon, Dharavi and Dadar among others.The structures were built under a special Prime Minister’s Grants Project (PMGP) during Rajiv Gandhi’s tenure at the helm to contain slum proliferation, and till now were not getting any funds from the state or central government for their repairs and upkeep.
Satish Gavai, vice chairman and CEO, MHADA, said, “We are planning to take up redevelopment of these buildings, but until that happens, we have recently decided to take up the repair and maintenance work of these buildings. The chief minister was very particular about getting the repairs done and ensuring that the structures are stable, and hence we have set aside Rs 25 crore for the purpose.”
Residents here live in tiny units with some of the houses as small as 160 square feet, and largely belong to the lower-income group. Unable to carry out repairs by themselves residents from these buildings have time and again tried seeking the state government’s assistance.
MHADA’s Mumbai repair and reconstruction board had last year decided to take up the redevelopment of these creaky buildings and had accordingly selected a PMGP colony at Umarkhadi near Mazgaon as the first such project.
The state housing department later decided to include nine more dilapidated cessed buildings, that is structures constructed prior to 1970 that pay a cess to MHADA for their maintenance, located around the PMGP buildings at Umarkhadi in the redevelopment proposal. The project has been put forward to the state government under its cluster redevelopment policy for the revamp of 18 buildings, spread over an area of 8,000 square metre.