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The Indian Express: BDD redevelopment project: MHADA survey hits roadblock as residents object to it.

The Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA), the nodal agency for Bombay Development Directorate (BDD) redevelopment project, has hit a roadblock in its survey of the BDD chawl in Naigaum after facing stiff resistance from its residents.

The MHADA, officials said, has now directed the deputy collector to take support of the Mumbai Police to ensure that the first of the five-phase survey of the chawl is conducted. The big-ticket project, worth over Rs 15,000 crore, entails the redevelopment of 121 chawl buildings in central Mumbai that are nearly a 100 years old.

The chawl in Naigaum that houses 3,344 tenants, is part of the BDD chawl redevelopment project, the foundation stone for which was laid by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in 2017. While the MHADA has completed the first phase of the survey of the BDD chawls in N M Joshi Marg, identifying 408 tenants as eligible for housing under the redevelopment project, it has, however, been met with opposition from the tenants in Naigaum.

Officials said the residents have demanded that the MHADA create a corpus fund of Rs 25 lakh for each tenant to be disbursed after allotment of a tenement under the redevelopment agreement. “The survey of eligible tenants for BDD Naigaum is stuck due to the demand of a group of people who are asking for Rs 25 lakh corpus fund. We tried more than five times but we failed to complete the survey,” said a senior MHADA official.

‘’I don’t understand the need for a survey because our family and eligibility details are already with the PWD. If the government wants to do a survey, then first they have to enter into an agreement with the tenants. We will allow the survey only after that,” said Raju Waghmare, a resident of BDD chawl in Naigaum.

On the demand of corpus fund of Rs 25 lakh, he said: “The government agency is saying that it will do maintenance work of the buildings for 10 years after redevelopment. But new buildings do not required maintenance work for 10 years. Our demand is give us Rs 25 lakh of corpus fund so that in the future, we can do maintenance work.”

The British had developed the BDD chawls in the 1920s as a low-cost housing solution for the city. There chawls are spread over 93 acres in Worli, Naigaon, NM Joshi Marg and Sewri. The chawls, home to nearly 16,500 families, are 160-sq ft tenements with common bathrooms and toilets.