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Maharashtra Government approves 500-square-foot flats for Kamathipura redevelopment

Synopsis

Ahead of the assembly election, the state government has initiated a significant redevelopment project in Mumbai's Kamathipura, historically a red-light district with many old buildings. A government resolution promises a free 500-square-foot apartment to landowners and tenants under Regulation 33(9) of DCPR-2034. Landowners receive additional flats based on plot size. The Kamathipura Punarvikas Samiti had long advocated for this change due to financial constraints. MHADA, appointed as the nodal agency, conducted a survey and appointed a project management consultant.

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As the assembly election nears, the state government has launched significant measures to benefit the public. In Mumbai's Kamathipura, an area historically known as a red-light district and marked by numerous old and decrepit buildings, the government has initiated a major redevelopment project. Last week, the state housing department issued a government resolution (GR) promising a 500-square-foot carpet area apartment free of cost to landowners in the region. This move falls under Regulation 33(9) (cluster redevelopment) of the Development Control Promotion and Regulations (DCPR)-2034. According to the GR, tenants in the area are also entitled to free housing and will receive a minimum 500-square-foot flat.

The resolution outlines specific entitlements for landowners based on plot size. Landowners with plots up to 50 square meters will receive one flat free of charge. For plots between 51 and 100 square meters, landowners will get two flats. Those with plots ranging from 101 to 150 square meters will receive three flats, and for plots between 151 and 200 square meters, four flats are allocated. For plots exceeding 200 square meters, landowners will get one additional flat for every 50 square meters.

The decision on compensation for landowners was critical for the success of the cluster redevelopment project. The Kamathipura Punarvikas Samiti, consisting of both landlords and tenants, had been advocating for government action on this issue for several years. Many landlords cited financial constraints as a barrier to redeveloping their properties independently.

In January last year, the government issued a GR appointing the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) as the nodal agency for the redevelopment under Regulation 33(9). Following this, MHADA conducted a survey and appointed a project management consultant. A high-powered committee, led by the additional chief secretary (housing), was also established to decide on compensation and oversee the redevelopment.

An official explained that the landlords live in Kamathipura and therefore receive one apartment free for the tenement they occupy as tenants, with additional apartments based on the plot size as compensation for the land.

Amin Patel, the local MLA who has championed the redevelopment for 14 years, expressed his satisfaction with the progress. He stated that people have been living in tiny homes for a very long time, and he has been striving to get the redevelopment off the ground so that the residents finally get a decent home in a planned township. This redevelopment project marks a significant step towards improving living conditions in Kamathipura, offering hope and better housing to its long-time residents.

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