In order to redevelop Asia’s largest slum, the Maharashtra Government will be reportedly taking over 45 acre of railway land in Central Mumbai on a lease for 99 years for Rs 38 billion.
Railway minister Piyush Goyal, reportedly, confirmed that the Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA) will be handing over 45 acre of surplus land to the Dharavi Development Authority (DDA) for the redevelopment of Dharavi. This decision is expected to transform the lives of Dharavi residents.
Reports suggest that such a move of the railways handing over its land for a project, which is to be executed by the state, is very rare. The estimated cost of the project at present is Rs 260 billion. The Western and Central Railways have two parcels of land abutting Dharavi-one, measuring 17 acre, while the second of 90 acre has godowns, a scarp yard and encroachments on it. The government is expected to sought the entire 107 acre to resettle shanty dwellers in transit camps during redevelopment, for which the railways has agreed to transfer 45 acre.
The deal was sealed after much bargaining as some railway officials had reportedly shown a lot of resistance as they feared it may cause allegations of graft. Besides, some of them reportedly said that surrendering land close to railway tracks may affect its future expansion plans.
The railways has reportedly sough an upfront payment of Rs 12 billion of the total Rs 38 billion, while the state was willing to pay Rs 8 billion. It was then settled at Rs 10 billion, of which Rs 8 billion is expected to be paid immediately with the remaining balance in the coming six months.
Of the remaining Rs 28 billion, Rs 25 billion is expected to come through profits generated from sale of surplus flats in the Dharavi project, while the remaining is expected to be adjusted against construction costs of 850 units of railway quarters on the same land.