“The government failed to fulfil its commitment of moving out the tenants and handing over the land to the company for redevelopment. Hence, the company has sought to withdraw from the project,” said a state government official. An L&T spokesperson declined to comment.
In 2017, L&T had bagged the Naigaum project in Dadar and the one at Worli a year later.
The Naigaum project was estimated to cost Rs 2,400 crore and was to be completed within seven years in three phases. With no movement on the ground and escalating project cost, the construction firm thought it best to pull out, said the official.
The then BJP-Shiv Sena government had promised 500-square-foot homes to each eligible tenant. The project announcement caused discord within several families residing in these tenements. There was opposition to the survey of tenants as family members who had moved out of these tiny 10-by-20-sq-ft tenements protested about their names not being included in the eligible list. Though Mhada had allotted them transit accommodation, residents were reluctant to move out as the government had failed to sign agreements assuring them of 500-sq-ft tenements each.
When it was launched amid much fanfare, the BDD chawls redevelopment project was touted as a game-changer that would not only change the face of Naigaum and Worli but provide residents of the chawls with bigger, elegant and very comfortable houses. Talk about the project gained further momentum after a’model flat’ was constructed, again amid much fanfare. But it is clear the project has proved to be anon-starter like the Dharavi slum project because the government has not done the real substantive work that goes into making such big projects successful. A more methodical and serious approach could still revive it, though.TimesView
L&T had constructed a sample flat at the site so residents would be encouraged to allow the redevelopment. In the first phase, 10 chawls comprising 800 tenements were to be redeveloped.The Naigaum plot is spread over 13.4 acres and the gross construction area was estimated at 6.7 lakh sq metres or 165 acres.
Mhada had tentatively planned to build four sale buildings with 60 floors each at Naigaum. The authority had also proposed a 20-storey commercial structures, besides 20 buildings with 19 to 23 floors to house the existing tenants of the Naigaum chawls.
The BDD chawls redevelopment was first proposed in 2009 but it has failed to take off. It meets the same fate as the ambitious Dharavi redevelopment project that has been hanging fire for nearly two decades.
There are four clusters of BDD chawls in Mumbai, at Naigaum, N M Joshi Marg, Worli and Sewri. The Naigaum and Worli projects were bagged by L&T while the Tata group had bagged the N M Joshi project.
Worli is the largest cluster. Sewri is the smallest. It is on Mumbai Port Trust land. Both the state government and Mhada had written to the Centre seeking permission to carry out redevelopment of the chawls.