Will redevelopment of Mumbai chawls transform large areas in the city?

Chawl redevelopment has been one of the major initiatives that have been pushed by several Government authorities and experts for a transformation of major zones in Mumbai. The Chawl redevelopment process is something that has the potential to open up large areas of the city and ensure some much needed decongestion at the same time. MHADA (Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority) had already commenced redevelopment for buildings situated at Worli, N M Joshi Marg and Naigaum which date back to a century or even more. There are more than 16,000 families who are staying in these structures as per reports.

Chawl redevelopment to lead to rapid transformation of Mumbai city areas

Chawl redevelopment projects are expected to really infuse a rapid transformation into the Mumbai property market. Here are some key points worth considering:

  • MHADA has already commenced its survey on a door to door basis for residents of Mumbai’s chawls with a view towards fast-tracking the BDD (Bombay Development Directorate) Chawls redevelopment venture at Worli.
  • Under this ambitious project, eligible tenants are being identified by the authorities for rehabilitation purposes.
  • MHADA officials have already gone across to 200+ tenements situated in BDD Worli chawls. Door to door surveys in 14 chawls have been conducted as part of the first phase.
  • 1,120 tenants are accommodated in these chawls according to studies.
  • There were previous protests by several tenants against the plans of the MHADA for executing a biometric survey since many of these people did not have any residence proof prior to the year 1996.
  • The survey team, as per the officials, is already delineating the project details to all tenants.
  • The team is also going through all necessary documents of the tenants which includes rent receipts over the last 6 months or so along with voter ID and Aadhar cards. This is being done for ascertaining overall eligibility.
  • MHADA has agreed to the demands of tenants for not getting the biometric survey done.
  • The survey for the first phase containing 7 chawls has already been executed at the N M Joshi Marg BDD Chawl. The 5th phase has been completed for the survey at Naigaum.
  • 260+ tenants have already inked the rent agreements with the MHADA and they will be shifted to the transit accommodation located at Parel.
  • The BDD Chawls Redevelopment Project may pave the way for many other projects in the urban renewal and brownfield redevelopment space covering old structures in Mumbai.
  • 26 million sq. ft. of real estate is expected to be created through these redevelopment initiatives and this will naturally infuse more affordability into the market due to better supply.
  • The project will be executed across multiple phases over 8 years.
  • The chawls were established by the Bombay Development Directorate (BDD) in the year 1920 and comprise of 121 buildings of 80 rooms each. The redevelopment venture visualizes the development of close to 98 buildings containing rehabilitation units and free-sale apartments and they will hover between 22-66 floors on an average.

Other developments in this space

MHADA has pulled off a major coup with more than 256 residents already agreeing to and signing the redevelopment agreement from BDD Chawl. Additionally, 130 tenants out of this tally have already visited the site office which is situated at NM Joshi Marg for registering the agreements online. Out of 800 tenants in the buildings being redeveloped in phase 1, 451 will be eligible based on the final Annexure 2 (part 1) as per reports. Senior authorities have opined that online registration of these eligible tenants has to be done swiftly and then they will be provided accommodation temporarily in transit camps.

Close to 400 residents have already got transit accommodation which is situated within a radius of 2 kilometres from their current accommodation. The transit camps have already been finalized by the MHADA sometime earlier. 7 buildings, as mentioned, in the BDD Chawl in NM Joshi Marg have been finalized for redevelopment out of a tally of 32. 400+ people have received transit accommodation within a 2 kilometre radius. Cluster redevelopment ventures have also been kick-started in Parel on the B A Ambedkar Road and behind the KEM Hospital.

Cluster redevelopment project updates in Mumbai

Two cluster redevelopment ventures have already been finalized in Parel. The first one is the Haji Qasim Chawl located at Curry Road which encompasses 7 acres and tenants have already been rehabilitated from here. The second venture is the Bhendi Bazaar redevelopment venture which covers a whopping 16.5 acres. The two redevelopment ventures in Parel were initially covering simple redevelopment of buildings which are old and broken down although they are now being transformed into cluster redevelopment initiatives.

Approvals usually take more time for cluster redevelopment projects since these approvals are granted by high-powered committees, state urban development departments and also the Maharashtra Chief Minister. Floor space incentives are around 80-90% for cluster redevelopment as compared to 50% for redevelopment of dilapidated and old building schemes. In case of the project behind the KEM Hospital, commercial rehabilitation is being readied with tenants shifting back. The residential tenants will be shifted in a couple of months’ time as per reports. The Government is being appealed to reduce time for approval of such projects. This will enable the development of many other projects in this space in the near future.

Chawl redevelopment projects will naturally lead to a transformation of several areas in Mumbai along with freeing up real estate space which can add more supply into the market. This will keep prices more competitive along with giving buyers more options to choose from.