Development Control Regulation 58 brought in the year 1991 covered the arena of redevelopment of the Mill Lands. According to the original resolution if a Mill owner intended to undertake redevelopment of the Mill, then he/she could divide the part of the mill that was non-functional into three parts equally. One part was to be given to the city for creating open spaces and amenities, the second part was to be given to the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) for constructing housing and the third part of the mill could be developed by the Mill Owner as per his/her wishes following the regulations of the Municipality.
The 1991 DCR allowed sale of mill land on the basis that 1/3 of the land should be handed over to the Municipal Corporation for open space for the city, 1/3 for affordable housing to Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority, (MHADA), and 1/3 could be developed by the millowners. In exchange for the two thirds given up, the owners were guaranteed equal land as TDR (Transfer of Development Rights) outside the island city.
The original resolution was amended in the year 2000 and as per this amendment, the owner of the mill was now allowed to develop the equivalent of existing ground cover (the land presently occupied by mill buildings) and the rest of the land would be then divided into three parts. This amendment was a sort of a fraud played out on the city. D T Joseph was Urban Development Secretary at the time this amendment was done and in a way this reading of the one-third, one-third, one-third formula was his brains at work.
The 2001 DCR ostensibly gave mill workers rights to a share of the mill lands. The 2001 DCR gave protection (against eviction) to tenants of existing chawls on mill land, it set up a monitoring committee for payment of compensation to mill workers, it mandated that children of the workers should be given jobs in enterprises coming up on mill lands, and it also said that of the 1/3 of the land to be taken by MHADA for affordable housing, one half should be reserved for millworkers housing. All these concessions gave rise to a spurt of fraudulent ‘modernisation proposals’ and ‘revival schemes’, coming up before the Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction (BIFR) in Delhi, using various excuses to make a killing on the real estate market.