Slum Bombay: Bombay Dharavi Interview
Director: Ralli Jacob, Rafeeq Ellias, P.K. Das; Cinematographer: Rafeeq Ellias
Duration: 00:21:35; Aspect Ratio: 1.366:1; Hue: 40.590; Saturation: 0.199; Lightness: 0.314; Volume: 0.119; Cuts per Minute: 1.991; Words per Minute: 139.819
To the extent land is available we would certainly take up schemes. We are entitled to take up schemes for industrial workers. we have taken schemes in the past. We have constructed houses, given on tenancy basis, subsequently on ownership basis specially for the industrial workers.
To the extent land is available, MHADA can take loan, build houses for a particular class of people, for a particular group of industrial worker or even of a particular industry.
Now but in Bombay of course land to such scale is not available. Whatever land we have are public lands which were acquired and therefore we would like to make it available to all industrial workers. And therefore the category which we'll make is based on the income.
Outside Bombay some industries have approached us. We've prepared schemes for them, for their own staff for the housing.You'll be surprised even the cooperative sugar factories are now coming to us asking for housing for their workers.
The second issue which was mentioned some time back pertains to availability of land. And as you know the whole island city of Bombay consisted of 7 islands which were over the years reclaimed and more and more land came to be used for housing. Similarly even MHADA, state agencies have reclaimed land on a large scale. And they have improperly(?) used for weaker section housing.
You will perhaps be going to Charkop and see the entire development of Charkop, or for that matter the entire development we are doing under the World Bank project, the Bombay Urban Development Project at Charkop and many other cities, many other places in Bombay where we plan to keep approximately 80,000 households over a period of time has been reclaimed from the creeks and that land has been used for the lower income group housing. Now obviously that question would be asked and that question is being asked, as to - can you use the full FSI of the land? Because the concept of FSI is very important in Bombay. It is expected that everybody uses their FSI to the full extent so that whatever land we have for housing is fully made use of.
Now use of full FSI would certainly be in many cases building- constructing high rise buildings. Therefore the approach we have adopted in case of larger layouts, is certainly... is a very composite approach. We have the sites and services program meant for the economically weaker sections, lower income group people where the utilisation of FSI is certainly not even 1.
But the Bombay Municipal Corporation, with the government's approval, allows us to use this same FSI - the balance FSI in the rest of the layout where we give plots for multi-storied construction for higher income group houses. After all we use part of the money from high income group houses to subsidise the land development pertaining to the low income group.
So let us not say that there has been no land available - land can be made available. The latest dispensation available under the Development Control Rules allowing 2.5 FSI for the slum redevelopment is also a step in this regard. It is not that we can say we do not have land. We'll have to made it either reclaim more and more land and make best use the land which is available with us.
People of Bombay now over the last 20 years have come to accept certainly one thing - that they require services... they require services on a fairly large scale and the services come from people who live in slums.
I remember about 10 years back I had gone for a seminar and where people had come and spoken in terms of we and they. By 'they' they were meaning the slum dwellers. Fortunately, this I don't find it anywhere now. People realised we are formed of one holistic, one integral society, and highly interdependent on each other. That's on one side.
The other side, the slum dwellers also - I don't speak of those who have just come to the city in search of employment because for them earning a wage, earning money is of paramount importance. And once that is looked after, once to some extent they are capable of earning... they know they can earn money, they start thinking in terms of upgrading their lives.
We have found that in many slums we get wholehearted support of many people. Number one in trying to maintain their civic amenities. Number 2 in upgrading their housing (?). Now but the solution lies somewhere else. The solution lies as I said in having a layout, having a neighbourhood where there will be sites and services available for people who can't afford to have bigger houses. And a large part of that FSI could be transferred onto the plots which are available to high income group where they will construct multi-storied buildings.
I suppose once we start this on a larger scale... my experience at Charkop has been that people who are living in multi-storied buildings or people who are living in smaller bungalows do not in any way think that the slum dwellers or the people living in the sites and service, people who are having houses in sites and services program are on the other side of the fence. They realise that they're a part of the same society, they realise they have to live together and they're interdependent - that's the most important thing. And once this comes about then having a neighbourhood with low income group and high income group side by side will come about in the city. And perhaps that is the solution. If we can prove that we have been able to do this under the World Bank project, if we can provide that in future layout developments maybe we will be able to tide over the situation.
In Dharavi the density as it is, is very high. In Dharavi people are gainfully employed. Its a very active place. And when I'm developing a layout in Dharavi I have to accommodate all those who are living in those slums today. So all that I can do is accommodate only half of them. Because the present tenement size in Dharavi is much smaller than what I;m required to do under Development Control Rules or what I'm required to do to make- to give a family a decent dwelling unit.
And therefore if I decide that in Dharavi I'll have a sites and services program, have only low rise, then maybe.some of the persons will have to be shifted out of Dharavi, which is not my intention. I would like these people to remain wherever they are because they are there because they are working in the vicinity or in that area. Now what we are trying to find out is whether we can have a low rise but a ground plus one structure. This is something we'll have to experiment and we'll have to find out to what extent we can succeed.
You are also aware of the fact that the revised DC regulations allow use of FSI up to 2.5... up to 2.5 in case you are going in for the slum redevelopment program. Here I can not only accommodate the existing slum dwellers, I can also get some surplus which I will use for shifting people from the plots which are in Dharavi but which are required as open spaces or for gardens or for schools. Now that I cannot forget.
Now if I want to do this and I still want to make these ground- multi-storied buildings affordable and offered to the people then maybe I'll require some FSI for commercial exploitation. By commercial exploitation I don't mean for commercial purposes. By commercial exploitation I mean I'll construct houses - little bigger houses, certainly not one room tenements and give it to people who are working in and around Dharavi at a little higher rate so that I gain money from them and use it for cross subsidising the dwelling units for the slum dwellers at Dharavi.
In Dharavi the question is a little different because of the heavy density and that its an old area. To use the FSI between sites and services program and multi storey building you require a little larger layout.
In Dharavi, as I said congestion is a problem, the density is very high. One can take a stand that let's add more area to Dharavi. If you see Dharavi today its 70% of the Dharavi is with the Municipal Corporation, people are working inside. I'm personally not in favour of shifting people from one place to another because experience is not always very encouraging. Some might shift to the new area, some might aspire to come back to the old area. And in that case the construction that you've made in the new area perhaps changes hands. That's another issue.
In Dharavi of course, not only do I have to accommodate existing people, I also have to the best extent possible get certain areas vacated for the common use by the residents of Dharavi today.
I'm not saying that there's only one single solution. You have to go the people with a variety of solutions with what you call a menu, in which there will be slum improvement, there will be slum upgradation, there will be slum redevelopment. We're thinking of going for ground plus one structures, we'll see what best we can do. It will depend upon the people's participation, to the extent they participate and to some extent what they precisely want in Dharavi.
Q: Has the effort been made to find out what is the area required if you go ground plus one in Dharavi? And therefore the additional land which is available...
No no no its not... because that's a very... it really may not help.
Q: No that means you are actually getting into a problem and trying to solve it....
No, no. What I'm trying to do is I'm trying to take the first easy option out and sort it out. And then I'll go to those options. If there are people who want multi-storey buildings...
Q: So what approaches have been....
Rajendra Prasad Nagar, Dharavi
Standing here at Rajendra Prasad Nagar which is a part of Dharavi area, we are constructing about 1,200 tenements - ground plus four. The total cost of each tenement is
Q: ...around Dharavi not inside Dharavi...
No but around Dharavi as in where?
Q: Let's say reclamation which is next to the Drive-in where the BEST depot is there, the entire stretch. PMGP has also built transit camps. Now for example why can't the entire area of the transit camp be made as a future housing on Dharavi's expense?
Q: As a permanent housing...
Q: So, therefore you have vacant land as you rightly said...
No no but not today no... (?) 10 years. Can I use it now?
We are standing here at a part of the Dharavi area. There are 1,200 tenements under construction. This particular area is called Rajendra Prasad Nagar wherein 1,200 hutment dwellers would be accommodated. They were previously staying in a slum like situation. They have been given self contained tenements. Each tenement consists of 200 sq ft area. And the total cost of the tenement is 55,000 rupees. This amount we have raised by getting money 20,000 rupees from the financial institution. 5,400 rupees by way of subsidy. And 7,500 rupees PMGP has given. This would be part of a loan which would be recoverable after a period of 15 years. The remaining balance amount is to be contributed by the person who has been given tenement.
Regarding down payment by the hutment dwellers, we have got one unit working with PMGP which is called Community Development officers. These people they have a direct contact with the hutment dwellers.
They approeached these hutment dwellers and they asked for... give out the entire scheme, explain them. And no doubt... you see the hutment dwellers find it difficult to raise the amount within a short period of time. But then while constructing the tenements itself we tried to get some amount and we allowed instalments. We have never found that any hutment dweller - who is the new hutment dweller who has not been shifted in the new transit camp.
X2: From the plot where we removed the hutments here, on that plot 83 hutment dwellers were staying (there). All 83 hutment dwellers are accommodated in the building, there is no surplus. So far we have planned all our old buildings on original old DC rules, where its 1.66 FSI and that never permitted additional accommodation in the building. So all 83 people who were staying here are accommodated.
Q: Now these 83 had money? All 83 paid the money? How was the... give one or two examples...
Ya see when the society was formed here with the help of community deputy officer, as our director said. Those people have taken surveys also. And those people looked and we were able to know from their surveys that those people definitely had income, which can make them fit for the occupation of these houses. There were people who were having... let me put it like this... there was 2 years period, in the 2 years period that amount was to be collected.
On the contrary, they had asked for additional provisions here. As against cement tile flooring they want mosaic tile flooring. As against balcony outside (?) they want balconies inside - bigger windows etc. A terrace above.
Q: Has it been accommodated?
Q: Their participation, has it been accommodated?
X2: Yes, right from the beginning... at least in the initial stage. Because we also had new program here.
X2: Initial stage we contacted this... key promoters, promoters and key promoters and all those people. But afterwards when I started knowing that there are people who have different opinion also, I started conducting meetings with all those hutment dwellers by calling them in our office, discussing with them. And then telling them that if you're not able to afford this mosaic tile flooring or any type of additional amenity, you can now also say, we'll delete the amenity. But at the time they all said they want all those amenities and they will be able to pay those.
X3 (architect): Basically the slum dwellers know exactly what they want. Though we treat them as lower level of education and everything, they are very practical. And once they came to know that they're building would be high rise, they were specific about certain requirements what they exactly want.
X3 (architect): So the total interaction with the members, holding meetings with them. In fact even the family members were consulted by them. And through their participation these solutions were evolved.
Q: Now you... didn't sign any...
X3 (architect): There would always be a difference of opinion, but compared to other affluent classes the differences between them were less. Once they decided they want to go for this - they were so enthusiastic with this that they did it themselves - the differences and came out with consensus.
Q: What about open space factor which they had the privilege of open space which you don't provide?
X3 (architect): The open space factor was there, but basically the old tenements were not of this size, it was much smaller than this. So even considering open spaces to their legitimate requirement consistent with affordability, the area was provided.
Q: Did you give different price structure for the floors, so that...?
X3 (architect): There was some price structure, but under PMGP's policies shops are charged on different basis, except for that all pay the same.
Q: Shops were allotted to owners from before or new people were coming in?
X3 (architect): No new people were brought. All the occupants here either they had shop or hotel or commercial establishment.
Q: Now suppose you just mentioned...
Q: Fine. Whatever it may be. Now the new F...
Q: ... in terms of cost, in terms of maintenance, what I would also like to know from the architect is - it is not only the initial construction which is important, but the subsequent management of these structures, and the affordability of the people maintaining it - a concrete structure which is 9 floors or 10 floors, which will automatically bring in lifts or firefighting services... Both... I would request this question to be answered by the Director and the architect.
X3 (architect): Actually this would be...
X1 (director): It is yet to be decided. Please don't ask this question.
Q: Policy matters are being decided...
X1 (director): By the government.
Q: Its already been decided?
X1 (director): No... only the rules have been framed. Then what is to be done after that...
Q: No, 2.5 has been granted already - FSI for slums?
X1 (director): That has already been granted but...
Q: Up to
X3 (architect): Its not 2.5
Q: No but they can go up to 2.5
Q: Now what happens is the point... what I'm asking in terms of the number of families who'd be... because what ... [[cut]] ... to the architect?
X3 (architect): The FSI of 2.5 rather up to 2.5 has been done basically to impart affordability to the project. Though Director has rightly said - in the schemes which were identified the people were able to pay their contributions, its universal application is doubtful.
X3 (architect): In case of Dharavi, the people who came forward and who found this scheme affordable, they have joined and formed the societies. There are many more who are not doing probably the societies because the affordability is doubtful.
X3 (architect): As regards second question - that with 1.66 the buildings have gone to ground and 4, what would happen with FSI up to 2.5 issue? This 2.5 FSI can't be universally adopted for any shape and size of the plot. Depending upon the existing densities, it may be possible to have high rise buildings for surplus FSI. Because in 2.5 the entire FSI is not to go to slum dwellers, but some element is going for subsidy, for non-slum component. So the buildings of slums as far as possible would be retained to ground and 4, and not beyond that. That is how I perceive the provision.
Q: Who will benefit from this....
Q: So what happens....