Railway minister Piyush Goyal, on February 25, 2019, announced that 45 acres of surplus land adjoining Dharavi, would be given on a 99-year lease to the Dharavi Redevelopment Authority, helping in developing the area and bringing facilities to slum dwellers. Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis along with his team, chairman of the Railway Board, members of the Board, GMs and railway officials had held a series of meetings, to finalise the agreement.
“The project will give an opening across the country, to those people who are compelled to live in slums and are deprived of facilities for many years. The Dharavi Redevelopment Project will be a living example of concerted efforts of Indian Railways, Indian government and the Maharashtra government,” Goyal said. “This project has opened the vistas for huge amount of redevelopment and slum rehabilitation all over the country and I compliment Devendra Fadnavis for his proactive approach. I also compliment the Railway Board for its cooperation and support to make this project a reality,” he said.
The agreement will be renewable on mutual terms. The railway minister said the existing facilities on the land like railway quarters, which are 50 or 60 years old and in dilapidated condition, will be improved under the redevelopment project. Goyal said the nearby encroachments (3,000 slums) in the railway land will be allotted houses under the Slum Rehabilitation Policy scheme.
The area will be developed with modern facilities through the Dharavi Redevelopment Project, he said. The 45 acres of land that the Rail Land Development Authority has agreed to transfer, is part of two parcels held by the Western Railways and Central Railways in the Matunga–Mahim area, measuring a total of 97 acres.