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Best deal for citizens: A bigger, better Crawford market in South Mumbai

Supreme Court dismisses special leave petition that was in way of phase 2 of work

mumbai Updated: Apr 17, 2019 00:49 IST
Steffy Thevar
Steffy Thevar
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Crawford market,South Mumbai
The Crawford Market Association first sought to redevelop the market according to the policy approved by the state in 2004 and 2005.(HT File )

Paving the way for redevelopment of Crawford market, the Supreme Court (SC) recently dismissed a special leave petition (SLP) filed by the Crawford Market Association to get a builder to handle the project.

The redevelopment of the market, officially known as Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Market, was proposed in 2006, but has been stuck owing to various issues, including the resistance by the market association. The revamp was planned in two phases – phase one has been completed, while phase two will start soon.

Phase two involves restoration of the heritage fountain, and reconstruction of the three buildings, where China Bazaar is currently located. None of the buildings will be taller than ground plus three structures. Each building will have two basement parking facilities and three entry-exit points for trucks to load and unload. The parking will also de-congest the roads and reduce traffic. The new market will have one-acre open space between three buildings. It will also have service elevators, fire-fighting systems, mechanical ventilation and segregation of waste. The total estimated cost of the project is ₹304.64 crore. Civic officials said the new building could be ready in 30 months.

The association first sought to redevelop the market according to the policy approved by the state in 2004 and 2005, but the civic body rejected it, as it did not consider the variation in ready reckoner rate. In 2008, the association got developers to create a revamp plan, which, too, was rejected by the civic body on the grounds that it did not meet the criteria of the heritage conservation committee. The committee had stated: “No changes can be permitted either on the exterior or interior unless it is necessary in the interest of strengthening and prolonging the life of the building or precincts or any part of feature and minimal. Changes would be allowed strictly in accordance with the original for the Grade-I heritage structures.” Moreover, the plan exceeded the permissible height limit of 20.80m.

The civic body began the redevelopment in 2009. As part of the phase one, the licensees have been shifted in the market. The phase two, for which the civic body has given eviction notices to shops at China Bazaar, will start soon.

Sangeeta Hasnale, assistant municipal commissioner (markets) said, “Our work for phase two has begun and the Supreme Court’s decision will speed up the process. We have built transit camps and already vacated half the China Market building. We have served relocation notices to 172 licensees who would be temporarily shifted to camps and be relocated as the work gets over.”

First Published: Apr 17, 2019 00:48 IST