Dharavi FSI sop only for few hutments

Our Regional Bureau / Mumbai July 23,2004
Business Standard


Realty developers hoping to cash in on the high floor space index (FSI) as part of the plan to re-develop Asia’s largest slum pocket in the Dharavi region of Mumbai city may realise that the high FSI is more the exception than the rule.

Ujwal Oke, chief executive officer, Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA), said : “The four FSI for redeveloping Dharavi’s hutment clusters is not a blanket decision for the entire region. What the government has announced is that only where the slum tenement’s density is found to be 800 or more per hectare then a higher FSI up to four will be considered. Those segments where this density is 500 hutments, as is mostly the case, will not get the high FSI limit for redevelopment.”

He added that an ongoing survey by the SRA had revealed very few such high density slum pockets where more than 800 hutments or more were cramped inside a one hectare area in Dharavi.

Oke added that of the 1,69,184 tenements whose redevelopment plan has been cleared by the SRA to date, 25,591 new tenements have already been set up.

“194 schemes have been completed so far where these tenements have been created. Over the last decade more than a lakh slumdwellers have been rehabilitated and about eight lakh more will be similarly rehoused in the near future,” Oke added.

Responding to a query on the slow pace of development, he blamed the financial constraints faced by developers as the main reason.

“We are in talks with Hudco for providing faster finance options to developers in Dharavi. In addition, we are also keen to push for the cases of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that are keen to take up the redevelopment of the region as they are better familiarised with the ground level realities in Dharavi,” Oke said.

The Maharastra industries department has promised to legalise the mostly illegal business establishments in the Dharavi region, provided they are not polluting industries.

So while tanneries will have to go, ceramic manufacturers, garment exporters, and the food processing industry that operates out of Dharavi will not only be legalised but also qualitiatively improved in the global and domestic marketplace, a senior government official said.

While the business plan spelt out to make the Dharavi recast project a profitable proposition has already convinced the likes of Kalpatru group, an NGO called the Slum Rehabilitation Society run by an Austrian Adolf Staggller has also officially written to the state government of their eagerness to develop one of the nine segments. The state government has decided to invite global tenders.

According to informed sources each developer stands to gain a minimum of Rs 120 crore in profits in terms of free sale property and transferred development rights (TDR).

The 71,000 families housed in this expansive slum land in turn will get free residential accommodation of 225 square foot each.