Maharashtra state government defers plan to redevelop Bombay Development Directorate (BDD) chawls in the city
The state government has deferred the plan to redevelop Bombay Development Directorate (BDD) chawls in the city, and instead decided to provide Rs 10 crore for their immediate repairs in the 207 BDD chawl clusters in the city.
The move seems to be the result of a political tug-of-war between the Congress and its alliance partner, the NCP. The redevelopment of 207 BDD chawl buildings in Mumbai was proposed by the state public works department, which is controlled by the NCP.
The Democratic Front government sanctioned funds for carrying out repairs at BDD chawls after the public works department put a request before the assembly.
The BDD chawls are spread across Worli (121), Lower Parel (42), Naigum (32) and Sewri (12), housing 16,544 tenants. The British constructed these buildings in 1921 to provide cheap and affordable accommodation to the city’s workforce.
After the British left, some of the chawls were allotted to the police and BMC employees, now the buildings need repairs such as re-tiling and plastering. Their structures also need to be strengthened.
The redevelopment of BDD clusters was first proposed in 2008. The project was to be given to private builders, with MHADA being the nodal agency.
After accommodating tenants in redeveloped structures, the builder would hand over a substantial number of residential units to MHADA, which would then sell them at subsidised rates. The builder would be allowed to develop a part of the land to recover his investment.
However, on two occasions, in 2009 and 2010, the Congress prevented the proposal from coming up before the Cabinet over concerns that the NCP had “commercial interests” in the project. More details here.