The Maharashtra state government has planned to shelve the plans of redeveloping the PWD government colony inBandra (East). The main reason quoted for this is the delay in starting the redevelopment of the colony as well as the tight financial situation of the builders.
Redeveloping Bandra PWD colony
The PWD colony in Bandra (East) is spread over a 100 acre land. This is the biggest single piece of land available for development in Mumbai’s western suburbs. The colony was built between 1958 and 1968 and has almost 5,000 flats in ground-plus-three storied buildings. Decision to redevelop the colony was taken up in 2010 by the then ruling government in Maharashtra. The project was awarded to three developers D B Realty, Kakade Infrastructure and Hubtown (then Ackruti City) in July 2010. D B realty was to redevelop 57 acres and the remaining area was to be developed by the other two firms. The project cost was an estimated Rs. 10,000 crore.
The controversial plan
Redevelopment of the PWD colony was shrouded in controversy since the day it was awarded to the developers. It is believed that less than a dozen developers were shortlisted for the project. The redevelopment then halted when two top executives of D B Realty were arrested in the 2G scam in 2011. Meanwhile the current Maharashtra chief minister had reviewed the entire project back in 2010 and had suggested scrapping the project. However, the public works minister didn’t take any action on the files for two years. The current public works (PW) minister is the centrepoint of this redevelopment controversy.
Reasons for scrapping
There are different reasons why the redevelopment plan is being scrapped. Firstly, the state was supposed to receive Rs. 1,000 crore from the three realty firms. However, it has received just Rs. 146 crore from Kakade yet. The three firms had asked for extension of 3-4 months when asked to pay up the dues owing to the tight financial situation.
Secondly, the present state government intended to repair the buildings instead of a an entire redevelopment. It recently sanctioned about Rs. 50 crore for repairing the buildings of the colony occupied by the officers and their families. With a substantial amount sanctioned for repairs, scrapping the redevelopment project just needs to be made official.
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