The redevelopment plan includes rehabilitating the slum dwellers and refurbishing the open laundry, which is a heritage structure.
Mumbai: Nearly 800 slums were demolished within a single day on Friday with Mahalaxmi’s iconic Dhobi Ghat all set for a makeover through SRA (slum rehabilitation) project. Once the project is complete, residents who were earlier living in 180 square feet dwellings will now get bigger, 269 square feet tenements.
The century-old Dhobi Ghat, the world’s largest outdoor laundry and a popular tourist attraction, has about 5,000 slum tenements housing over 25,000 people. Of these, 4,000 families have given their consent for redevelopment to Omkar Realtors & Developers.
The redevelopment plan includes rehabilitating the slum dwellers and refurbishing the open laundry, which is a heritage structure. The project will be implemented on 14 acre of Dhobi Ghat land which houses 13 societies. Of these, 800 slums at Sane Guruji Nagar were demolished on Friday. Around 1,500 slums in the neighbouring Sai Baba Nagar have already been razed.
The Dhobi Ghat redevelopment project involving seven acres of land will cost around Rs 7,000 crore. About 15 to 20 per cent land will be handed back to the state in the form of recreational ground (RG) while the rest will be used as sale component. “Every family has been paid an entire compensation amount of Rs 15,000 per month till 2018, when the project is expected to be completed. The remaining families are stuck in eligibility, family disputes etc.” said a spokesman from Omkar Realtors.
Omkar Realtors executive director Kaushik More assured that the SRA development will not hamper the heritage site of Dhobi Ghat which houses 731 washing pens and flogging stones. “The stones’ washing area will remain untouched and the dhobi community will conduct their routine activities without any disruption,” he said.
Meanwhile, local resident Shrinivas Satta (38) said redevelopment will benefit people living in small houses in the neighbourhood. “For years, we have been living in small houses in chawls, but we will now move to a bigger house.”