Worli police playground to house rehab buildings for BDD chawl tenants in Mumbai

August 1, 2021
File photo
File photo

MUMBAI: NGO Citispace has paved the way for construction of permanent rehab buildings on the police playground which is part of Worli BDD chawls. A plot of the same size, accessible by a public road, has been approved by the NGO for relocation of the police playground in the same vicinity. The Maharashtra Housing Area Development Authority is the nodal agency for the project.

“We had a zoom meeting with Mhada officials and lawyers. We have agreed to shifting of the playground/recreation ground in the same vicinity where the open space is accessible by public road. We have specifically said there must be no access from the buildings as it is a BMC open space. We have also said the fencing must be spatial and not a concrete wall; the BMC’s logo and signs must be prominently displayed. No one should feel inhibited in accessing the ground,” said Nayana Kathpalia, co-founder, Citispace (which is now integrated with NGO Nagar).

The BDD chawl redevelopment project will be relaunched Sunday. The bhoomipujan, albeit a second time, will be done by chief minister Uddhav Thackeray at Jambhoori Maidan. The last time the bhoomipujan was performed by former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis in 2017 and since then the project has simply lapsed. The Worli BDD chawls are part of Shiv Sena leader and environment minister Aaditya Thackeray’s assembly constituency and with civic polls slated for February 2022, this is a prestigious project for the party.

Mhada officials said work to lay the foundation for two permanent buildings will begin soon. BMC does not allow excavation in rains, but Mhada officials said they’ll use borewell machines for piling work.

“At Worli, 1,120 tenements in 14 chawls have been surveyed and 958 declared as ‘eligible’. The eligibility process is underway for others. Once completed, they will be shifted to transit buildings in the vicinity,” said a senior Mhada official. The two buildings will be 40-storey high and will have no basement. There will be a separate parking tower at Worli. In all, 32 buildings are to be built over eight years. The first two are expected to be ready in three years, said officials.

At Naigaum, Dadar, survey of tenants is yet to begin. At N M Joshi Marg, survey has been done for 10 chawls and 274 tenants have been given transit accommodation.

BJP MLA Sunil Rane who was part of the Empowered Committee for the BDD redevelopment project said there is no clarity on the new plan. “The new plan has not been disclosed to the people. There is no clarity on how many tenants are to be shifted in how many phases. What is the need for a second bhoomipujan if you are not able to explain the discrepancy in the first plan?” Rane asked.

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