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HindustanTimes Fri,01 Aug 2014

Developers asked to de-clutter Bhendi Bazaar revamp plan

Ketaki Ghoge, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, February 17, 2013
First Published: 01:22 IST(17/2/2013) | Last Updated: 01:23 IST(17/2/2013)

The Bhendi Bazaar redevelopment project, spread across 16.5 acres in south Mumbai, has hit a hurdle with the state’s environment panel asking developers to reduce the density of construction in its proposal.

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The revamp, which has been undertaken by Saifee Burhani Upliftment Trust (SBUT), is one of the two cluster redevelopment projects cleared under the state’s 2008 policy aimed at a holistic development of city’s old congested localities.

In its meeting last week, the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA), the final authority that scrutinises all projects over 20,000 sq meters for a green clearance, withheld the go-ahead pointing out that the tenement density in the area will be “extremely high, very adversely affecting the quality of life”.

The minutes of the meeting, cleared on Saturday, state that the tenement density on account of redevelopment of existing tenements along with sale flats and shops will be 1,004.6 a hectare.

The minutes also mention that the only way to reduce this would be to significantly reduce the sale component — both the number of flats and the construction area (which is at present is 11 times the plot area).

These observations are likely to force SBUT to reconsider and tweak the entire plan. Developers will now have to find a way to make the project commercially viable, given that the sale component has to be reduced.

The SEIAA has also asked developers to increase the width of roads between certain clusters.

The panel has also asked for adequate parking and a proper pedestrian movement plan around religious shrines in the area, given large crowds that assemble there during festivals and for shopping.


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