SBUT On Bhendi Bazaar Redevelopment Project: 'Architectural Style Will Reflect Community, Its Origins'

SBUT On Bhendi Bazaar Redevelopment Project: 'Architectural Style Will Reflect Community, Its Origins'

"The heart of this redevelopment is based on the people who have been staying here. So we intend to fulfil their aspirations."

Swarna SrikanthUpdated: Monday, April 08, 2024, 09:24 AM IST
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Mumbai is witnessing several redevelopment projects, one of which happens to be at the city’s foodie destination Bhendi Bazaar, Mohammed Ali Road. Saifee Burhani Upliftment Project initiated the Bhendi Bazaar redevelopment project in 2009. With work underway, Swarna Srikanth spoke to architect Mallikarjuna Rao who is associated with the SBUT and is assisting the redevelopment and rehabilitation plan of the area. Excerpts

Tell us about your role in assisting the SBUT in its welfare works.
I joined SBUT in October 2020, and by then we had completed the construction and handing over of the first batch of rehab units to tenants, both commercial and residential. Later, we tried to improve on the amenities provided to the occupants of Al-Sa'adah, followed by looking at the overall master plan identifying where the roads and sidewalks would be and the nature of those roads. Importantly, our endeavour has been to bring as much greenery as possible.

Does the redevelopment plan consider residents’ inputs?
Yes, it is a people’s plan. The heart of this redevelopment is based on the people who have been staying here. So we intend to fulfil their aspirations.


Any challenges that the project has seen?  
After our first batch, it took a couple of years to put the other clearances in place. The statutory and compliance norms have changed and evolved. Now, it is a long process because what has happened is along with clearances from local authorities such as the chief fire officer of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai and the officials at the high-rise committee, we need to approach various departments of the state as well. Sometimes, it turns out to be far more stricter and time-consuming.


When can we expect completion?
The construction and settings are in place and are at par with any high-end development project. We see the second phase of the project comprising four towers underway, and expected to complete in the next three to four years.* Around that period we must be able to handover all these facilities to the original inhabitants of Bhendi Bazaar. However, commercial spaces may be granted part possession much earlier itself. (* the completion is subject to government approvals and certain other factors.)


Can you throw light on the architecture that would be featured?
We have decided that the architectural style will reflect the community and their origins. The upcoming structures would feature the Fatimid architecture which has a distinct arch-like design.

How would this redevelopment impact real estate of Bhendi Bazaar?
At SBUT, we don’t see real estate gains. This project is aimed at providing comfort and good living to the people of this place. However, with redevelopment, as this place gets more desirable, there will be a boom seeing more and more people coming here.

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