Bhendi Bazar cluster redevelopment;
Only 20% of work completed so far, says MHADA

Mumbai: In the wake of the building collapse in Dongri on July 16, in which 13 people were killed and several others injured, the chairman of the MHADA Repair and Reconstruction Board, Vinod Ghosalkar, visited Bhendi Bazar and took stock of the ongoing Saifee Burhani Upliftment Trust (SBUT) cluster redevelopment project.

Ghosalkar said the project will prove to be one of the most promising ones in cluster redevelopment, once it is complete. However, only 20 per cent of the work has been completed so far.

"MHADA had issued the letter of Intimation of Disapproval (IoD) in 2015 to the trust, but of the 3,200 residents and 1,250 shop owners, only 600 residents and 120 shopowners have been shifted to the new rehab buildings," said Ghosalkar.

There are around 300 tenants who continue to occupy rickety structures in the area, informed SBUT. Ghosalkar observed, "How can 300 tenants decide the fate of 2,900 others? Why are these tenants opposing redevelopment? A meeting will have to be held."

He also informed that the repair board has already issued orders for forceful eviction of such tenants living in MHADA's cessed buildings. Moreover, he stated that Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has ordered the city collector to acquire properties, in case of tenants living in private buildings.

The project is expected to transform one of the oldest and congested areas of Mumbai, with sustainable, state-of-the-art infrastructure – wide roads, modern facilities, open space, along with commercial areas. So far, 2,900 tenants and 600 shopkeepers have been moved into transit facilities.

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