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After over 70 years, 25 buildings in Sion-Koliwada set to be redeveloped | Mumbai news


MUMBAI: The state government has approved the redevelopment of 25 buildings in Sion Koliwada, once occupied by Sikh, Sindhi and Punjabi families displaced during Partition. The BMC had been sending notices since 2011 to one building or another, declaring them all dilapidated.

After over 70 years, 25 buildings in Sion-Koliwada set to be redeveloped
After over 70 years, 25 buildings in Sion-Koliwada set to be redeveloped

The decision was taken in the state cabinet on Wednesday. Many of the tenants did not have original papers. Finally, they were unified under the banner of Guru Tegh Bahadur Cooperative Housing Society and the conveyance was done in their name. Since the land was granted to the society, things became easier. There are 1,200 tenants in 25 buildings spread over 41,500 square metres. The state has appointed MHADA the special planning authority.

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The GTB Nagar buildings came up in the 1950s and ’60s to house residents of the Sion Koliwada refugee camp, who migrated to India from Pakistan in 1948, following Partition. Over the past two years, several residents relocated and began living in rented accommodation at the city’s edges in Panvel, Kharghar, Thane and Vashi.

“The redevelopment of these buildings has been a long-pending issue,” said BJP MLC Prasad Lad. “The BMC demolished these buildings three years ago but not a single builder was willing to take up the project. When our government took over, Devendra Fadnavis took the initiative. The conveyance of the buildings was done in the name of the housing society, and MHADA will develop this area like the BDD chawls.”

Additional chief secretary Valsa Nair of the housing department said, “The redevelopment proposed is through a construction & redevelopment agency and will be a win-win situation for the societies and MHADA both, as the redevelopment will be a comprehensive and integrated one, taking into account all the infrastructure requirements. The flats will also be larger in size under Section 33(9) of the Development Control Promotion regulations. The construction and redevelopment agency will be selected via a tender.”

Resident Sandeep Singh Dham said that three generations of his family had lived in the refugee colony. “We were dishoused during the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said. “We have been trying for redevelopment since 2011. We had meetings with the local MLC Prasad Lad and local MLA Tamil Selvan, who took up the matter with Devendra Fadnavis. We are happy with the decision.”

MHADA VP Sanjeev Jaiswal said, “This long-pending issue will now be resolved and the citizens who had vacated will get new houses in the coming years. This is the first case of MHADA being the special planning authority despite not being the land owner. As soon as the GR is issued we will float tenders inviting bids for the redevelopment.”


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