The streets of Bhendi Bazaar today
Times of India, October 13, 2016
MUMBAI: The city's first cluster redevelopment project will result in wider roads and a recreation ground in an area which has none today. The redevelopment will also create parking space for 4,000 cars.
The Bhendi Bazaar cluster redevelopment plans, as approved by the high-power committee of the BMC, will transform 5-8 metre-wide lanes into 9-17.5 metre roads within the 16.5-acre cluster.
Three of the four arterial roads that bound the cluster will be widened, some in parts like Mutton Street. The cluster is being designed so that roads are perpendicular to each other. The traffic police wanted east-west connectivity to be widened significantly for smoother flow of traffic.
R S Potdar, deputy chief engineer, building proposal (city), said as per the approved plans, some roads will be merged, while others will be widened. "This is being done to enable cluster redevelopment. The condition, however, is that the total area of roads in the cluster cannot reduce. In fact, the area of the roads is not being reduced, roads are simply being realigned," he said.
The redevelopment will add a recreation ground and a primary school. A building will be erected for the existing secondary school. There will not be any mall as shop-owners had rejected the concept.
"In terms of open spaces, the area around the Saifee Masjid and mausoleum, which is 2,000 sq metre, will increase to 4,000 sqm. Since commercial shop-owners wanted road-facing shops, the cluster has been designed so that the shops occupy the ground and first two floors of every building; above that will be parking spaces and then open podium spaces for residents," said Sandeep Isore, the project's architect.
Mustafa Kachwala, patron, Saifee Burhani Upliftment Trust (SBUT), said the buildings will have an angular look going up from beyond the Saifee masjid.
While the rehab buildings will vary from 31 to 45 storeys, SBUT proposed the sale buildings to be above 50. Isore said the sale component was yet to be approved by the BMC.
The artist's impression of the cluster redevelopment shows the masjid and mausoleum are the highlights, around which the redevelopment will happen.
Work on sub-cluster one and three is expected to be completed in three years. The entire redevelopment will take at least eight years, said Isore.