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Dharavi Redevelopment: 'Land transfer is to Maha govt, not the developer Adani Group'

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Mumbai, June 16 (IANS) The ongoing Dharavi redevelopment project does not involve any land transfer to Adani Group but it was only to the Maharashtra government's Dharavi Redevelopment Project/Slum Rehabilitation Authority (DRP/SRA).

The Dharavi Redevelopment Project Private Ltd (DRPPL), which is a joint venture between the Maharashtra Government and Adani Group, is a developer of housing and commercial tenements and it will hand over the same to DRP/SRA of the state government to allocate as per survey findings.

Sources have strongly denied the recent allegations made by Mumbai North Central MP Varsha Gaikwad over the allotment of land for rehabilitation of Dharavi residents within Mumbai.

Sources said that as per the tender, while land remains and stands allocated to DRP/SRA at rates decided by the government, DRPPL has to pay to the government as per demand just for development.

This is as per tender scheme.

In return, DRPPL will get development rights.

The state support agreement, which is part of the tender document, clearly states that, state government will support the project by giving land to their own DRP/SRA department.

The details of multiple and important government resolutions on Dharavi Redevelopment have been conveyed multiple times to the concerned MP.

These include GRs (government resolutions) of 2018 and later of 2022, which gives absolute clarity about the proposed redevelopment of Dharavi and the ensuing rehabilitation of Dharavikars.

As far as the Railway land is concerned, it was allocated to DRP even before tendering for which DRPPL has paid a whopping premium of 170 per cent to the prevailing ready reckoner rates.

And additionally, is developing a world class township there. The allegations that Dharavikars will be thrown out of Dharavi and rendered homeless are pure fiction and a mere figment to create anxiety among masses.

The government's GR of 2022 depicts a unique condition that each and every tenement holder of Dharavi, eligible or ineligible, will be given a home, a copy of which is also publicly available.

"No Dharavikar will be displaced under the DRP/SRA scheme. This is a unique provision compared to regular SRA scheme wherein only eligible tenement holders were provided a house of up to 300 square feet and it remains in all previous government dispensations," a source said.

Under the Dharavi redevelopment project, the tenement holders will be provided a house of 350 square feet, which is 17 per cent more than any other SRA scheme in Mumbai.

According to sources, the Dharavi Redevelopment Tender is one of the most progressive in terms of its outlook towards informal settlers of Dharavi.

It is completely pro-people which includes free and highly concessional housing, stamp duty and property tax exemption, ten-year free maintenance and a ten percent commercial area in residential premises to enable the prospective housing societies to have a sustainable revenue stream in addition to the corpus being provided, sources submitted.

The GRs of 2018, 2022 and the tender clearly spells out eligibility for in-situ rehabilitation for tenements in existence on ground floor before January 1, 2000.

Those existing on higher floors and beyond, up to January 1, 2011, will be allotted homes under PMAY outside Dharavi anywhere within MMR for just Rs 2.5 lakh or rental housing as per policy of government of Maharashtra.

Tenements which came into existence between January 1, 2011 and date to be announced by the government of Maharashtra will get homes under state government's proposed affordable rental home policy with an option of hire-purchase.

The demand for 500 square feet for an informal settlement has no such precedence in Mumbai's slum redevelopment schemes and thus is only being promoted to cause anxiety among people.

For the eligible tenements of businesses, the government scheme provides for a proper free of cost business place as also a five-year state GST rebate is offered which will result in boosting their profitability, usher them into the formal economy, make them more competitive and offer them multiple growth opportunities.

On deliverables, the tender has put stringent timelines and any violation will attract penalties.

On the allegation that the allotment of a Kurla land was done without following due process by the state government, sources clarified that the facts are otherwise.

Firstly, the land is going to be given to DRP and not Adani Group nor DRPPL.

The process under Maharashtra land Revenue (Disposal of Government Lands) Rules, 1971 was duly followed before issuance of the relevant GR.

"The actual concern and fear of the MP is not for the people of Dharavi or their betterment. The opposition and spreading of such fake narratives is being driven only for electoral ambition to keep the people of Dharavi stay the way they have been with poor or little to almost zero access to basic amenities to lead a dignified life. That is the reason why for so many decades no action was taken to build proper housing for Dharavikars," said a source.

The MP (referring to Varsha Gaikwad) is also attempting to build a false narrative and throw a spanner in the works of the state government's scheme to redevelop Dharavi even as its residents are waiting for better houses with world-class amenities for several decades, sources added.

The Dharavi Redevelopment Project is a first-of-its-kind initiative that seeks to transform the locality into a world-class city, creating a sustainable and thriving neighborhood while preserving its timeless essence.

The project seeks to improve the quality of life for over one million residents of Dharavi through a human-centric approach.

Also, a number of additional initiatives are being integrated towards sustainable multi modal transport systems, state of art infra on utilities.

Additionally, vocational based skilling is being planned for youth and other wage aspirants of Dharavi to improve their earning potential and facilitate them jobs, which will give them opportunities which are more eco-friendly and benign.

--IANS

sj/pgh


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