In a move that will expedite the city’s first cluster redevelopment project in south Mumbai’s Bhendi Bazar area, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has approved a proposal to exchange lands with Saifee Burhani Upliftment Trust (SBUT), which is executing the urban renewal scheme.
According to the proposal, the BMC will hand over ownership of 24 municipal plots in exchange for two plots owned by SBUT. The BMC-owned plots fall under cluster redevelopment project area.
The proposal was cleared in the Improvement Committee meeting on Wednesday. Committee chairman Sadanand Parab said the move will expedite the redevelopment project. “The buildings and tenants from municipal lands will also get benefits from cluster redevelopment,” said Parab.
These 24 plots have an area of 4,762 sqm and now, SBUT can include this in the redevelopment scheme. In exchange, the two plots at Bhuleshwar and Mandavi having an area of 5,547.17 sqm with 424 tenants will be handed over to BMC. According to officials from the BMC’s estate department, SBUT will have to pay Rs 14.31 crore to the civic body based on the land’s ready reckoner rate.
Ownership of these two plots will be transferred to BMC but they will be leased out to SBUT for 30 years with Re 1 per square metre annual charge. “With this, the civic body will get Rs 5,600 every year as lease rent from SBUT,” said a BMC official.
Officials said some of the municipal land has reservations for amenities like primary schools and it will be SBUT’s responsibility to hand them over to the civic body.
Bhendi Bazar cluster redevelopment was started in 2016 and the first phase of the project was completed in 2019. The project is spread over 16.5 acres covering 250 buildings, most of them 100 years old and in dilapidated condition. According to the BMC proposal, there are 3,200 residential and 1,250 commercial tenants in these buildings.
After the proposal will be cleared in the general body of the corporation, an exchange deed will be signed between BMC and SBUT trust. The entire project is divided into nine phases and is expected to be completed by 2025.
“We have not yet received any official communication from the MCGM but have learnt through sources that the Improvement Committee has cleared our swapping of the land proposal as part of the Bhendi Bazaar redevelopment project. All the legitimate tenants of the 24 BMC plots are being rehoused in the redevelopment project,” said an SBUT spokesperson.
Under the scheme, the trust has planned to develop 11 new buildings, wide roads, modern infrastructure, more open spaces and highly visible commercial areas. Currently, ground clearance and demolition work on the second phase of the project is underway.
In December 2019, the BMC had issued stop work notice to the trust for commencing construction work without having mandatory commencement certificate from the Building Proposal (BP) department.