By Accommodation Times News Service
Dharavi is spread over 557 acres and houses about three lakh people. It was earlier divided into five sectors for ease of redevelopment. Out of that, three have now been divided into 10 sub-clusters
In yet another attempt to redevelop Dharavi, a committee of secretaries headed by chief secretary Swadheen Kshatriya has given inprinciple approval to a new plan. Having failed to secure bids for large clusters, the government has subdivided them.
The plan has been prepared by Debashish Chakraborty , who holds additional charge of the Dharavi Redevelopment Authority (DRA). This is the fourth attempt at Dharavi’s redevelopment since 2003, allowing an FSI of 4 for a slum rehabilitation scheme.
Dharavi is spread over 557 acres and houses about three lakh people. It was earlier divided into five sectors for ease of redevelopment. Out of that, three have now been divided into 10 sub-clusters. “Sector five is being redeveloped by Mhada. So, it has been left untouched. Sector one has a lot of peculiarities. There are municipal tenants and there is an entire industrial slum structure. We need time to decide on how to redevelop this sector. A decision will be taken within a month, “said Chakraborty.
As for the other three sectors (2, 3 and 4), these have been divided into 10 sub-clusters with about 5,500 slum families in each. The DRA will appoint a panel of developers for each sub-cluster.
“There is no change in the proposed redevelopment plan of Dharavi. The Development Control Rules allow for sub-cluster redevelopment. Criteria such as financial net worth and experience are unchanged, including the reserve price on premium. The only change is that since a sub-cluster is smaller, it becomes more viable,“ he said. Slum-dwellers will have to form co-operative housing societies, promoters will be registered and federation of societies will be formed. After these milestones, the two sides will hold discussions. The slum-dwellers will identify the best three developers and report to the DRA.
“If the financial bid of the chosen developer quotes a lower premium, he will be offered the first right of refusal, that is he will asked to match the highest premium, “said Chakraborty . The plan now needs to be approved at the government level.
The Urban Design Research Institute (UDRI) had organised a competition, `Reimagining Dharavi’, with emphasis on community participation. It had received a response from 30 countries. The plans were presented to the Slum Rehabilitation Authority as well as DRA. UDRI executive director Pankaj Joshi said reducing sector size and engaging the community are the first right steps but more needs to be done.“There is a palette of ideas out there and the government needs to change its approach substantially if redevelopment is to be successful, “he said.
Manoj Dubal, president, Practising Engineers, Architects, Town Planners Association (PEATA) said, “Market conditions are not conducive at present, but reducing the size of sectors may perhaps help redevelopment.