Mumbai: Bhendi Bazaar residents get new homes after 8-year-wait
15 families handed possession of new flats in Al Sadah, the first two towers of the city's largest cluster redevelopment project
It has been over eight years since 70-year old Juzer Rokadia moved out of his childhood home in Bhendi Bazaar, paving way for a redevelopment project by the Saifee Burhani Upliftment Trust (SBUT). But finally his wait for a new home is over as he, along with 15 other residents, got the keys to the flats in Al Sa'adah, which includes the first two towers of the project.
Before 2011, Rokadia used to live in an old building — Taiyebi Manzil — in Bhendi Bazaar with his mother, wife and two children. Their move to Anjeerwadi came with its share of inconvenience. "Everything we need is at Bhendi Bazaar, including our place for prayers. So after we moved, travelling became an issue. It took some time to get used to it. But now we've settled in. Some people are apprehensive about moving again," said Rokadia. He, however, added that he and his family were looking forward to having a permanent home.
Juzer Rokadia and his family at the Anjeerwadi accommodation
"We are eager to move and our expectations are high. Bhendi Bazaar has always been home for us and we are looking forward to going back there," he said. Apart from saving time on travelling, the residents are also looking forward to moving into homes that have toilets. The old buildings of Bhendi Bazaar had common toilets.
Speaking about the time when she had to wait for her turn before she could use the bathroom, 26-year-old Zainab Udaipurwala said, "We had to carry our own water to the toilet and would have to wait in line. But now we have more than one toilet in our homes, which gives us much-needed privacy. Our new houses also have proper ventilation and a garden downstairs for children."
Two towers of Al Sa'adah are ready for residents to move in
The first two towers, which will accommodate about 600 families, are part of the project that was taken up in 2009. While the residents were evacuated in 2010-11, construction work started in 2016. The work was completed last month and the keys were handed to the first 15 owners on December 12. "While the first phase of the project is nearing completion, the ground clearance on other sectors is happening at a fast pace so that construction work on the remaining towers can start. We plan to complete the entire project by 2025," said an SBUT spokesperson. The entire project has 13 towers.
In order to facilitate the process of moving into their new homes, officials from SBUT said that they have set up an online application through which the residents have been given a unique id and password. "Around 10 people can shift per day per tower. We have set up an online booking system to avail the services of Movers and Packers to ensure that the shifting is hassle free and well organised," said an SBUT spokesperson. He added that they hope to complete the formalities for all the residents by the end of next month. The residents will take around a month to get the interiors of their homes done. However, the work would have to be approved by SBUT to ensure that they don't affect the structural integrity of the building. "Residents can upload their plans on the same app and approvals will be given within 48 hours," said the spokesperson.
Year the project was taken up
Year construction work of the two towers started
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