Big blow to one of the biggest housing and first cluster redevelopment project of Bhendi Bazaar after Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) issued a stop work notice on directions of Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister and Housing Minister Devendra Fadnavis. Fadnavis had told the State Assembly during the monsoon session that this redevelopment project will be investigated. Following alleged irregularities in the original redevelopment, the plan was revised and the redevelopment road width were reduced.
Is no share of MHADA in surplus houses to call lottery reason for the probe?
The Free Press Journal had exclusively reported that in this cluster redevelopment project MHADA will not have any share of reserve houses that it can sell in form of a lottery. Following this in the heart of the city, MHADA will not have houses that it can offer to the people at affordable rates.
The Bhendi Bazaar redevelopment project is taking place after the demolition of old cess buildings. The Mumbai Building Repair and Reconstrution Board (MBRRB) is the custodian of cess buildings. The cessed buildings are those for which the government collects tax for a repair fund. The BMC on behalf of the repair board collects cess. Although owned by landowners, the other tenants are co-owners, popularly called Pagdi tenants.
As per the Development Control Regulation (DCR) 2034, if the total rehabilitation Floor Space Index (FSI) + incentive FSI is less than 4, then the Balance FSI over and above the total of "rehabilitation FSI + incentive FSI" is shared in terms of Built-up area (BUA) between MHADA and the Promoter/Developer. In the said Bhendi-Bazaar redevelopment case, the rehabilitation FSI and incentive FSI are beyond 4 as per the Saifee Burhani Upliftment Trust (SBUT). Therefore, the reserve space for MHADA is not applicable in this project.
The Saifee Burhani Upliftment Trust is carrying out this mega redevelopment project.
SBUT Spokesperson issues an official media statement:
In accordance with the unexpected notice from MCGM, we have ceased all construction work on the site.
This upliftment project is positively impacting the lives and livelihoods of around 25,000 people and upgrading the dilapidated infrastructure of Bhendi Bazaar. The entire project has been planned as per the provisions of Development Control Regulations 33 (9) and is being carried out in line with the approvals and permissions of all concerned authorities.
The project has already improved the living standards of over 610 families and 128 business establishments owing to the completion of the first phase of the project. We stay fully committed to delivering on the aspirations of the remaining tenants as well, by relocating them back to their new premises at the earliest. As per the Deputy CM's recent statement in the Legislative Assembly that the Bhendi Bazaar redevelopment is a landmark project and work will not be stopped, we are positive that the notice will be lifted soon.
The Trust will continue to cooperate with MCGM and other government authorities while they review the matter.
What is the redevelopment project:
The Bhendi Bazaar Redevelopment project has been envisioned in 2009 to uplift the lives of around 25,000 people living and working in Bhendi Bazaar regardless of their caste, religion or sect.
With a motive to create an urban space infused with technology, modern amenities & infrastructure, the the redeveloped locality is opening new avenues for business growth and better livelihoods for its commercial owners.
The ambitious redevelopment project comprising 16.5 acres of land has more than 250 decrepit buildings, 3200 families and 1250 shops. These are being incorporated into a state-of-the-art sustainable development with 11 new buildings, wide roads, modern infrastructure, more open spaces and highly visible commercial areas.
Construction on the first phase of the project began in 2016 and got completed in 2019, rehabilitating 610 families and 128 businesses in two towers named ‘Al Sa’adah’.
With IOD and CC in place, construction work on the second phase of the project began in 2021. Four towers are currently being developed which will house the remaining residents and commercial
establishments that are part of the upliftment project. During the transition period, the Trust is providing transit accommodation or rent compensation to its residential and commercial tenants.