The Remaking of Mumbai

As another delapidated building collapsed in Mumbai and many innocent residents lost their lives,may be it's time the government got together with private organisations like the Remaking of Mumbai Federation and take up the remaking of Mumbai by demolishing the badly maintained eyesores that are death traps.There are nearly 20,000 cessed buildings that need to be redeveloped in the island city.

The Remaking of Mumbai Federation has forwarded a proposal to the Maharashtra Government for redeveloping the southern part of Mumbai, which has over 20,000 old and dilapidated buildings built before 1940. Each building is about 10,000 sq ft.
The federation comprises over 50 associations, institutions and NGOs, including builders and architects associations and research institutes on urban planning. Former Chief Justice of India, Mr P.N. Bhagwati, the Chairman of HFDC, Mr Deepak Parekh, and former Mumbai Municipal Commissioner, Mr Girish Gokhale, are members of the initiative. The federation has suggested that the buildings be demolished on a sector-by-sector basis, tall buildings be erected and transit accommodation provided to tenants. The entire cost of redevelopment and rehabilitation could be covered by selling additional FSI (floor space index) that should be accorded to each of the buildings, over and above the existing area, to subsidise cost.
The Government too is grappling with the issue, as the interests of all stakeholders such as landlords, tenants and slum dwellers have to be addressed to arrive at a consensus. The buildings are occupied though notices have been served on occupants pointing to precarious state of the structures. About 20 lakh people are said to be residing in them.Given the additional load the tall buildings would impose on the infrastructure and the cash strapped state of government service-providers, the federation has said part of the proceeds of the free sale, obtained by according higher FSI to the buildings, could be remitted to the government for creating an infrastructure fund. The fund would enable the government to augment infrastructure and also create a corpus for maintenance and other charges. “ This is just not yet another plan. What attracts me is the financials that have been worked out to fund the initiative,” said Mr. Gokhale.
The structure of this Public Private Partnership will be in the form of a city planning and monitoring committee with representatives of the government and the federation.
Planning, studies, norms for construction and developers, besides monitoring progress should be part of the committee’s responsibilities, it said.
The proposal will ensure protection to life and property of over 2 lakh people living in the dilapidated structures and also initiate a planned process for the entire city which has only seen erratic and isolated development, said Mr. Lalit Gandhi, chairman of RoMF.
Mr. Mayank Gandhi, member, RoMF, said the federation as a pilot project was surveying the city’s ‘C’ ward and initial estimates indicated that about one hundred 30-storeyed buildings could house the residents of about 2,000 structurally weak old buildings in the locality that spans about 212 acres. The new structures could be built on 16 per cent of the land and made to accommodate the 1.03 lakh resident ward population.

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