Mumbai: Bhendi Bazaar redevelopment project deletes three important streets?
Locals complain that Saifee Burhani Trust’s plan of the Bhendi Bazaar redevelopment project seems to have deleted three important streets
An aerial view of the roads in question, Dharamshy Cross Lane, Raudat Tahera Street and Nabiulla Road
The already-hard-to-navigate Bhendi Bazaar seems to have gotten even harder to traverse. In an odd dichotomy, while the civic body has left no stone unturned in reclaiming lost land from Bombay Gymkhana as part of its road widening project, it seems to have turned a blind eye to the deletion of three public roads in the much-hyped R4,000-crore cluster redevelopment project being undertaken by the Saifee Burhani Upliftment Trust (SBUT).
Where’s the notice?
Residents and activists are up in arms and allege that according to the permission granted by the civic body’s Building Proposal (BP) department (a copy of which is available with mid-day), the trust was supposed to realign the three roads — Dharamshy Cross Lane, Raudat Tahera Street and Nabiulla Road — simultaneously while it was redeveloping the buildings.
Instead, they now claim that the project has ‘deleted’ these important roads that are crucial to the local traders as they connect Null Bazar and Gol Deol.
More so, according to the BMC Act’s section 289 (3), if any street or road is being deleted, then a public notice has to be put up in the street whose closure is being proposed and the residents are allowed to suggest or object against it.
In this case, the protocol was not followed.
Additionally, locals claim that in the upcoming holy month of Muharram, processions near Zainabia Masjid could get out of hand and could lead to a stampede as those three streets alleviate the pressure and help in crowd control.
Sayad Ali Abbas, resident and secretary of Husaini Federation, which has 25 groups registered under its umbrella, said, “We are not against the development, but deletion of these roads will create a problem. Already, the streets are narrow and every year in Muharram, thousands gather near Zainabia Masjid. These streets were helpful in distributing the crowds during the procession.”
Along with the locals, watchdog organization Political Looks has taken up the cause and written to BMC chief Ajoy Mehta and additional municipal commissioner Pallavi Darade, seeking an appointment. “With the Islamic month of Muharram scheduled to commence in 10 days, we are apprehensive of problem that may erupt due to deletion of the roads,” the letter notes.
A senior civic official from Building Proposal department, on condition of anonymity, said, “We have got the complaint from locals about deletion of roads. We will send some officials to check if work is going on as per the plan,” adding, “With this project, small several streets would be deleted, remodeling will be done, and broader roads will be provided.”
The other side
In response to the local brouhaha, Abbas Master, CEO, SBUT has said, “The Bhendi Bazaar project is being carried forward as per the cluster development DCR 33 (9) regulation. To that end, the entire 16.5 acres of dilapidated area is set to be transformed into a well-planned, sustainable neighbourhood with wide roads. Therefore, it is imperative to realign roads. The overall project layout and master plan, including the re-alignment of roads, have been approved by all concerned authorities after consent from tenants.”
Buildings that are being redeveloped
Structures that are meant to replace the current residences
Rs 4 K CR
Cost of the redevelopment project