MUMBAI: After almost 20 years, a century-old chawl enclave in south Mumbai is the first to get the nod for cluster redevelopment in the city. The state’s housing authority, Mhada, gave the go-ahead on October 27 to redevelop Old Chikhalwadi at Tardeo.

The 1.54-acre plot comprising a labyrinth of 12 chawls, in which over 200 people live, stands behind Bhatia Hospital. The go-ahead paves the way for a 36-storey tower that will now spring up on the plot.

The redevelopment, held up since 2002, recently got an ‘all clear’ from a high-powered panel appointed by the state. Officials said one big hurdle in redeveloping the cluster was the rule to have a road of 18-metre width around the project.

The builder had sought permission to redevelop as per old rules that allow a road width of 12 metres. This July, a state notification cleared the decks to redevelop clusters with a 12-metre road width, officials said. With Mhada’s nod, this project will be the city’s first under the Cluster Development Scheme cleared under the new rules.

“The project has finally taken shape We’re glad Mhada has signed an agreement and issued an NOC to the developer,” said Suraj Shetty, joint secretary of an association of the residents.

“All 228 tenants will get 583 sq ft usable carpet area with Rs 6 lakh corpus fund. To ensure timelines are met, we’ve asked the developer to keep a contingency fund… I hope work starts next month and all tenants support the development.”

Rajendra Chaturvedi from the developer’s firm had said they would complete the project in four years.

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