HDIL Real Estate Developer
MUMBAI: The on-site rehabilitation of slum-dwellers on airport land is likely to face opposition from developer HDIL.
The developer had been assigned construction of 27,000 tenements for slum-dwellers in 2009. But Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL), which operates the Chhatrapati Shivaji international airport and was entrusted resettlement and rehabilitation of the slum-dwellers, terminated its agreement with HDIL in 2013.
HDIL and MIAL are locked in arbitration proceedings over the terminated agreement. The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), the special planning authority for the airport, had complained about the 'inferior' quality of tenements constructed at the Premier Automobile Ltd land in Kurla and refused to take possession.
HDIL managing director Sarang Wadhwan said MMRDA had in fact rehabilitated 1,200 slum-dwellers from Bamanpada at Kurla. "This made the construction of the Sahar elevated road, leading to the airport, possible. We stand by the quality of construction,'' he said.
Wadhwan said his company purchased land for the rehabilitation of slum-dwellers. The transfer of development rights (TDR), worth approximately Rs 1,500 crore, it had received in lieu of construction of tenements was only one-tenth of the land cost. "The sale of TDR helped us raise funds for the construction of tenements,'' he said.
The company bought another plot in Kurla and a third in Bhandup. It constructed 9,000 of the 27,000 tenements. HDIL had been promised 60 acres of the cleared airport land and is now fighting for the termination to be withdrawn.
An MIAL spokesperson refused comment as the matter is sub judice.
Wadhwan refused to comment on whether the clause in the new notification allowing slum-dwellers on airport land also to be rehabilitated anywhere in the Mumbai metropolitan region offered a resolution to the arbitration proceedings. Pavement dwellers and hutment dwellers on land required for the airport's development or on amenity plots, such as open spaces, will not be given in-situ rehabilitation. Commercial godowns, cowsheds and scrap yards will not be allowed in the slum rehabilitation scheme. They will be moved elsewhere, the notification states.
Government officials said around 25,000 families have to be shifted out of the airport area as land is required for aeronautical activities.