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Redevelopment Of Bandra Reclamation

Redevelopment Of Bandra Reclamation : A residential colony of around 50 buildings, a bus depot and a large open playground all sitting nearly 25 acres of land at Western Mumbai’s most prime locality known as the Bandra Reclamation is the next ‘gold mine’ in the city’s real-estate market. With the potential to build around 25 lakh square feet of saleable area (as per the full layout plan and additional floor space index), the Bandra Reclamation redevelopment project is valued at over Rs 20,000 crore ($2.5 Billion) considering the price range of Rs 65,000 to Rs 80,000 per square feet.

However, the project has come under a cloud of controversy amidst rising accusations of favoritism in choosing a developer. Some of India’s leading corporates and big builders are eying the Bandra Reclamation development project and have teamed up with few residents, who have floated private tenders for the redevelopment of 23 buildings without any approval of the Maharashtra Housing And Area Development Authority (MHADA) that has ownership of the land. A copy of the draft tender floated by the few residents is with BW Businessworld.

At the start of this year, MHADA had sent a proposal to the Maharashtra State Government for cluster redevelopment of Bandra Reclamation colony along with two other large cluster redevelopment projects in Mumbai including Abhyudaya Nagar at Kalachowki and Adarsh Nagar at Worli. Yet UNICOS, a union of cooperative societies representing 10-12 buildings from Phase I and Phase II of MHADA’s Bandra Reclamation colony have started holding meetings with the residents and are trying to move ahead with its plan to tap rich builders privately.

Reportedly, UNICOS Secretary Subroto Chakraborty and Chairman Padmakar Kulkarni have been spearheading the proposed redevelopment plan for the past two years, without much success. One of the residents who has taken leadership in floating the tender is said to be a founder of a company, a subsidiary of an entity named in the Hindenburg Report (published in January) for floating a network of offshore entities. Also, the parent company named in the Hindenburg Report was involved in the US$4.5 billion 1MDB Malaysia scandal.

A few residents, who have voiced their apprehensions, told Businessworld that tenders were being circulated without any consent or permission from MHADA, even when the housing body had made it clear that it would be developing the colony. Also, not all the buildings have given their consent since there are around 10 buildings that belong to the government. There are around 400 to 600 flats that are owned by public sector entity ONGC.

Residents who spoke to Businessworld said that not everybody in the colony was a member of UNICOS. According to a few residents, UNICOS is not recognised by all the residents and they are not even contributing their annual fees for the membership. On the one side when residents are floating private tenders and MHADA, the owner of the land has put up its note for cluster development, the battle for billions of dollars worth Bandra Reclamation project in Mumbai is afoot.

Disclaimer: Content taken from BW Business World E-news paper

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