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Development Related Issues in Mumbai

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I would like to express deep gratitude to our Sociology professor Ms. Leena Pujari who gave me the opportunity to work on this assignment which helps improve knowledge through field research and provided better experience.I would also like to thank my parents and friends who helped me a lot in finishing this project within the limited time.. THANK YOU

Development Related Issues In Mumbai
(Life Of People After Redevelopment)


* Chpt 1 : Introduction
* Chpt 2: The Field
* Chpt 3 : The Reality
* Chpt 4 : Personal Perspective

Chapter 1: Introduction
Development,Redevelopment And Mumbai
Abustling, vibrant city that 16 million people call home, Mumbai is the commercial capital of India. An old city surrounded on three sides by sea and a beautiful coastline, early Mumbai was developed in the south. Over the years, though, unprecedented growth in the economy of the city has created a massive expansion of land use on the northern side. Today, the city is bursting at the seams owing to the influx of migrants. The result: an overpopulated city with an unbearable load on a crumbling infrastructure and pressure on every available open space. Awkward and incremental planning has only compounded problems. The situation is untenable. And in consonance with guidelines and suggestions of various government policies, judicial comments and expert opinion * Defining development

The legal framework for controlling development in the Region of Mumbai is primarily provided by the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning (MR&TP) Act, 1966. In this Act the “Development” is defined as the carrying out of buildings, engineering, mining or other operations in, or over, or under land or the making of any material change, in any building or land in the use of any building or land and includes demolition of any existing building, structure or erection or part of such building, structure or erection, reclamation, redevelopment and layout and sub-div. * Problems related to development

Despite the statutory land use plan and the host of laws, rules, regulations and policies, the development control system in the Region has remained weak. It has not been able to prevent undesirable development. Even if the phenomenal growth of slums, which is the single largest type of unauthorised construction activity, is not taken into account the unauthorised construction activity in the Region in the past two decades has been alarming. Some of the well-known examples can be seen in the industrial development at Mira-Bhayander, multi-storeyed residential development in Vasai-Virar, Mumbra and Dombivali, construction of shops, workshops and hutment along Thane Belapur Road in Navi Mumbai, and development along highways in this Zone.

Some of these developments, particularly, in Mira-Bhayander and Dombivali, have been the subject of special inquiry by the Government. Apart from the unauthorized construction, there have been developments which, though legally authorized, are unplanned, or contrary to the intentions of the Regional Plan. The reasons for this can be traced to a number of factors, such as, inadequacy of DC rules, absence of proper authority to enforce Development Control Rules (DC), lack of monitoring of the development, etc. Redevelopment, which refers to the process of reconstruction of residential/ commercial premises by demolishing the existing structure and constructing a new structure, has emerged as a ray of hope for all developers. Redevelopment is done by utilising the potential of the land, by exploiting additional TDR and FSI as specified under the Development Control Regulations of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM). * Why is redevelopment required?

Redevelopment is a continuous process of urban renewal. Our cities have grown so much that there is no land available in the central areas. Redevelopment opens new avenues and also gives an opportunity to refurbish residential complexes in keeping with changing lifestyles. However, whether a developer builds a luxury project or something else, depends upon the location. For instance, locations like Worli or Cumballa Hill in south Mumbai, which have scope for redevelopment of slums or upscale buildings, are more likely to be venues for luxury housing projects. On the other hand, redevelopment in the suburbs would depend on the existing location profile. The only other alternative for accommodating the increasing demand for housing at all levels is horizontal growth.

However, this will require vastly improved transport facilities and civic infrastructure. Another scenario where redevelopment can be an ideal solution is when a society is in dire need of extensive repairs but it’s starved of necessary funds required to carry out those repairs. On one hand, such societies may not have the resources and expertise to handle the repairs on their own and on the other hand, the families of the members may have expanded, thereby requiring more space. Old buildings also have many drawbacks such as lack of services like security, cleaning, absence of common facilities like gymnasium and society office, unavailability of proper playing area for children in the compound, perennial leakage problems, absence of elevators, poor interior planning of rooms and low resale value, due to the poor condition of the buildings. * Benefits of redevelopment to developers and tenants

Builders/ developers, who opt to purchase land and develop the same, incur huge stamp duty cost on transfer of land. However, when it comes to redevelopment of old buildings, the stamp duty is reduced by a significant extent and this acts as a major benefit for developers. Tenants too get several benefits like hassle free execution, extra carpet area, increase in flat’s value and in most cases, alternate accommodation/ reimbursement or rent compensation for the period the building is under construction. * The need for redevelopment in Mumbai

Redevelopment in Mumbai has huge potential for builders and property developers, owning to the fact that there are constraints on the availability of open land within the city limits, coupled with the growing demand for houses and an acute shortage of housing stock. On the other hand, that there are thousands of ageing buildings which have reached a stage where it is not possible to carry out structural repairs, as the same will not be economically viable. Many of these buildings are so dilapidated that the only solution is to pull them down totally and reconstruct them. The problem of old and dilapidated buildings in Mumbai is only becoming more acute with each passing year and with each passing monsoon, more buildings become dangerous and unfit for habitation. Consequently, for a majority of the cities in India, redevelopment of old buildings is the need of the hour. Nevertheless, redevelopment of housing societies is usually burdened with bitterness and complaints of high-handedness and corruption against the managing committee. With the mid-income segment today becoming a huge purchasing market, developers are moving towards redeveloping older structures into modern luxurious complexes with facilities like free parking, gardens and play areas. In the ultimate analysis, complete and timely deliveries seem to be the most crucial factors, when it comes to redevelopment.

Chapter 2: The Field
The field, its background and an overview
* Brief Introduction
The previous chapter gives overview about development and redevelopment, problems related to it and the situation of the city of Mumbai .This chapter is about the place/area or the field on which this assignment is based. The field is the place of action i.e., where the redevelopment has taken place. The field is a restaurant in the Bhendi Bazaar area of South Mumbai which is famous for its notorious activity center of goons and the flea market “Chor Bazaar” and also for its non-vegetarian food items. * Profile of the area

The main area of redevelopment discussed here is a low budget restaurant which was named “Hotel Gulzar Mohmmad” now which is a hi-tech transformed pathological and medical center owned by “Saifee Ambulance Society” which already has three other centers in that area itself in Bhendi Bazaar. Bhendi Bazaar is an area between Mohammed Ali Road and Khetwadi. The closest Central/ Harbour railway station is Sandhurst Road and the closest Western railway stations are Charni Road and Grant Road. This area is a densely populated residential and commercial area. Nearly 4,000 families, apart from nearly 2,000 shops and small offices occupy the buildings spread over 18 acres in the heart of south Mumbai. Almost 80 per cent of the residents are Dawoodi Bohras, belonging to a million-strong tightly-knit community and other are mainly Shitte Muslims, Sunni’s and other Muslim minority. The economic statistics reveal that the area is generally resided or rented by middle class or lower middle class people majorly, but there is also a small percentage of higher middle class people.

Bhendi Bazaar is popular for shopping viz antique items, hardware items. It’s main attraction is its street food which is a treat for the non-vegetarians which comes alive after the sunset. Food delicacises like tandoori chicken , paani puri, kababs , jalebis and various kinds of sweets. The area has everything a food lover would wish for. Milk shops, ice-cream parlous , cold drink stalls ,huge sweet-meat shop, general shops, grocery stores, medical shops , etc. the area is a house of every item needed in daily life. The area is also famous because of its famous Chor Bazar where second hand goods are bought and sold. Travelling facilities wherein both buses and taxis are readily available and commuting is properly facilitated except for the extreme traffic. Railway stations are also nearby and easy to reach. It is a well facilitated and this is the reason middle class people eye this area. * The redevelopment history

The area of Bhendi Bazar where the “Hotel Gulzar Mohmmed” a 3-time cheap meal provider to hundreds of workers and middle class people once existed and along side the restaurant there was a small stall of a cigarette and general stall which lured school going kids and a cobbler , today here stands “Saifee Ambulance Society Medical and Diagnostic (pathological) Center” and they later made a waste management block next to the Diagnostic center which displaced the people who had build up small structures for shelter for living and were responsible for the cleaning in that area. The construction not only displaced the cleaners of the area who stayed near the now waste management block but also the poor workers of the restaurants , the small stall owner and also the cobbler who have been there since almost 30 years. The Saifee Ambulance society offered a good sum for the restaurant to the 3 owners Mr.Abbas, Mr.Aliasgar and Mr.Razak and they readily sold it off to them without providing alternate employment to the existing workers in the restaurant.

The deconstruction started nearly around January 2004 and was the hi-tech Diagnostic center was ready in almost a year , around the end of 2005. Later the Diagnostic center asked for a waste management block so that the adjoining area , next to the center was clean . this lead to the displacement of the people there who are living there since 60 years. The cobbler and the stall owner had been given no alternative place. The Pathological Lab had many machines donated and because of that in a way of returning provide free services to the poor. But the paradox is what about the people it displaced. The Center runs successfully and the restaurant is now a forgotten history but for the families of the displaced it’s a sign of scar and bad time of their lives. * The reason for research on this area

The reason I choose this redevelopment as a part of my study and research is because I have been a part of this area and the restaurant had been a supporter of our family during our low economic days an we hav witnessed the restaurant flourish. The stall outside the restaurant was the sweetest part of my school memory. But on the more practical front, the displacement of the cleaners of my area whom I have been seeing since childhood creates an emotional stir and angers me against the corrupt system that prevails in our city where politicians are goons and money rules everyones lives. The well awareness of the entire area and being a part of it provides for a better research and study as people are known and readily respond due to the similarity and commonness factor. There is better understanding as one is being the part of the field of research where the action actually takes palce. The conclusion and the findings can be regarded as factual and proper as the field is the part of daily life as well as people are more truthful to known people and have a trust that the information will not be leaked as well as I have previous experience as I have been present during the deconstruction and redevelopment in the area.

Chapter 3:The Reality

The deconstruction of the restaurant and the redevelopment of diagnostic center was made after many promises and compromises. I surveyed a few people about the happening and the responses where quiet shocking and some harsh truths of corruption were revealed. As per reliable source when the deconstruction was undertaken the restaurant owner just disowned the workers of the restaurants and left them to squander on the streets as they were hired on daily wages basis. The cobbler and the stall owner were promised an alternative place but after the redevelopment there were no trace of the stall owner or cobbler. It was heard that they were given a little amount of money and shooed away from there. When talked to a worker of the restaurant who now works for another restaurant Mr.Abdul who is 60 now told me that they were told that they will be employed where the other chain of restaurant will be opened , but the promises made were false and they were left to survive o neither own.

He hails from Bihar and had called his family around 1995 to Mumbai for better living and thus after the deconstruction, there was extra burden of the family to support in the costly city of Mumbai. He was moved to tears when asked about his situation. When enquired about other workers he informed that many wnet back to their villages and while others r living in the slums of Mumbai fighting for their daily livelihood. After the redevelopment , there was a demand for waste management block which lead to displacement of the slum dwellers there. I asked on of the lady who is my buildings cleaner , Mrs.Farida said that her mother and family are living there since 60 years but when the block was made they were forced to leave the palace. It shocking to know that they were promised houses by the MHADA but , it was also a faulty play by the authorities.

They shockingly have a PAN card, Election card and now even an ADHAR CARD. They fought for their rights and later the were allowed to live around that waste management block area, but proper housing wasn’t made available to them . Other members of Farida’s family revealed to me how the diagnostic used to dispose of their urination , blood bottles, needles, etc. in that waste management block area , when they were required to dispose it off to proper areas allotted by the government. They had to further complain to the government authorities of the mal practice and later the diagnostic stopped its ill habits. The Diagnostic center hired people who are road cleaners and thus the level of their cleanliness can be judged. Thus the redevelopment although is hi-tech and beautiful which is also important for the society is rather supporter of more negative effects on society and people.

Chapter 4:Personal Perspective
The field research and the findings show the paradox of development for the society where a Diagnostic center generates free medical treatment also displaces a slum family, restaurant workers and the stall owner as well as a cobbler. The livelihood and empathy for the displaced poor people is totally disregarded and everyone boost about the sophisticated and hi-tech Diagnostic center. The shocking fact is how government officials and politicians with the power of money rule over the lives of the poor people and how their voices always go unheard. The study also help to discover that familiarity with people helps in getting better response and patience is the key to getting perfect and proper information. The previous knowledge and experience , also with family member knowledge and extra information from the neighborhood it helped in getting exact and factual data which might not been filed and difficult to retrieve.

Such research work helps in knowing and applying what has been studied and thus generates greater knowledge and understanding about our surroundings and how people operate in adverse conditions due to forceful situation and strive hard to make ends meet. The comfortable homes we live in with all the luxury are a blessing and should be respected aswhen look around under the name of beautification and social work the development processes are destroying the souls and lives of poor people . Its like CREATING A HEAVEN OVER SOMEONE’S GRAVE .

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