Numerous studies have been conducted over the years to develop and strategize family and household eligibility based on several factors.
Retired IAS officer, Gautam Chatterjee, who was the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Dharavi Redevelopment Project (DRP) from 2008-2010, explained what goes into the redevelopment of a slum, and a slum like Dharavi at that.
Establish eligibility, tenure and residency schedule: “The criteria today is that all those who were on the electoral roll before 2000 and resided in Dharavi before 2000 are eligible for free housing. Those who came later until 2011, they will have to pay the construction costs. That still leaves a gap of 11 years,” Chatterjee explained.
Allow change/transfer of ownership: He also said there are cases where unscrupulous people try to evict eligible residents by paying them to qualify for the free rent they will receive under the redeveloped structures. “So there is also the question of whether the policy will allow the alteration or transfer of housing, even if the structure is an old building,” he said.
Conflicts about the number of structures in a structure: “Although the government may identify a particular building as a single structure, there may be more than one household in it with multiple floors, etc. So solving those problems, moving those people into transit housing or paying them rent for alternative housing, and then clearing that land — those become the most critical factors.”
Creating a Document Trail: Most structures, Chatterjee said, do not have proper documentation.
“You have to redo the documentation after each survey to establish the number of households within a structure, how many families live in them, etc. are essentially poor families as well,” he said.
Talking about these issues, Gaikwad said there is a need for a new study.
“Since the last survey, the number of families has increased, existing families have expanded. Eligibility criteria were reduced as per the survey done years ago. It will have to be reworked and the strategy will have to be reinvented,” she said.