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Jai Apr 27, 2007 5:24 AM

Dharavi makeover gets going
Dharavi makeover gets going

DNA Epaper 6 April

Invitation to the global tender process for the massive urban renewal project will begin next month

Smita Deshmukh

Decks are cleared for the much-delayed Rs 9,300-crore Dharavi Redevelopment Project (DRP) as the Expression of Interest (EOI) for the biggest urban renewal project in Asia is set to come out by the third week of May.

A final presentation of the master plan, which has undergone a series of changes in the last two years, will be made to Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh in the May second week for his nod.

The 535-acre Dharavi will be now divided into five sectors of roughly 100 acres each to be converted into independent townships comprising residential, commercial and industrial areas with a Floor Space Index (FSI) of 4.

“The thrust of the plan continues to be designed by architect Mukesh Mehta. Bids will be invited for each sector and no developer or consor tium will be given the entire project.

We will build 20,000 transit tenements in Dharavi to ensure that residents need not move out during the construction,’’ said IS Chahal, Officer-on-Special Duty (OSD), DRP.

Sources told DNA that the bid would be entertained only from companies with a net worth of 40 per cent of the project cost. This means leading city builders will have to form consortiums to be in the race or international developers would chip in.

However, the schedule of the entire project depends on the clearance from the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) – a task which the DRP has entitled to the selected developers after the bidding process is over.

“MoEF requires all design details, which the developer must submit and the state will back them for necessary support,” said Chahal.

From the original 12-sector plan with a central park in the middle surrounded by buildings, the new Dharavi master plan now spreads into five big sectors, offering major scope of work.

“Each sector will have a polyclinic, over three to four primary schools, one secondary school and one college. There will be open spaces and recreational areas in each sector. The plan will give the state Rs1,850 crore worth high-quality infrastructure like roads, toilets, schools and colleges all free of cost,” said Mukesh Mehta.

With a series of tall buildings slated to dominate the Dharavi skyline, Mehta admitted that the sale component buildings would be high rises. “We do not want any Transfer of Development Right (TDR) to come out of Dharavi to be used further in the northern suburbs,” he insisted. Along with buildings, a corresponding plan on aesthetics and character of the new structures is being worked. “Personally, I would love to give it an art deco look to ensure that Dharavi connects at some level with South Mumbai. :| But many feel that art deco is past and regressive. Modern architectural style could be considered :cheers: ,” he added.

Changing the face
There are 56,000 households, each will get 225 sq ft houses free

There are 4,500 industrial units, each will get 225 sq ft free and the rest have to be purchased at market rate

Each sector will have its own public amenities

The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council will set up more than 300 industries

The National Institute of Design has proposed a leather village spread over 12.5 acres with small factories and show rooms. It also has plans to convert the existing kumbhar wada into a state-of-the-art ceramic centre based on cooperative model.


BTW, I finally found Architect Mukesh Mehta's website: Unfortunately, nothing especially interesting there.

Jai Apr 30, 2007 5:10 AM

Bollywood to get Hollywood Studio type Theme Park
I predict that this will do wonders for tourism in Mumbai :cheers:

India's Bollywood Is Getting A Theme Park

By Staff
Apr 28, 2007

India's Bollywood movie industry in Mumbai is getting its own theme park, likened to the Hollywood studio parks.

Percept Holdings, a media and entertainment company, has announced plans to build the Bollywood entertainment park for about $100 million, the BBC reported Saturday. The company says it will provide "the Bollywood experience."

The park will aim at letting fans get behind the scenes of the world's biggest film industry -- by audience size anyway.

"Bollywood accounts for over 40 percent of the total revenues of the overall Indian film industry," said Shailendra Singh, joint managing director at Percept Holdings. "Bollywood is what the Indian masses turn to for entertainment, but there is no organized format or means to consume this experience."

The entertainment park will open in 2008 and feature cafes, walk-throughs, film sets, tours and gaming booths.

(c) UPI
From other articles, it seems like $100 million will be the initial investment for the first phase of the project, which will be open in 2008. This implies that there will be other phases to this project with larger investments.


Jai Apr 30, 2007 5:11 AM

Entire of Mumbai Metro do be built in 5 years -- 10 years behind schedule? Looks like
MMRDA has a plan to speed up Metro

“ We have no desire to go around with a begging bowl any- more, not even to foreign banks.” T Chandra Shekhar, Metropolitan commissioner

DNA Epaper 29 APR
Smita Deshmukh

Forget the official 2021 deadline. The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Develop ment Authority (MM RDA) wants to make all nine corridors of the Rs19,500 crore Metro Rail functional in just over five years.

To make this grand plan possible, the MM RDA will be attempting to self-finance the crucial build-operate transfer (BoT) project.

A new notification, already approved by the state government, would allow the MMR DA to amend the Development Control (DC) rules and increase the Floor Space Index (FSI) in the Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) from 2 to 4.

This would allow the MMRDA to sell off the remaining 70 acres of land in the area, where 70-metre-high buildings could be erected after the Airports Authority of India revised its height restrictions. Officials say the move could fetch a whopping Rs25,000 crore – more than enough to make the MMRDA self-sufficient to build the Metro Rail. Forget the 2021 deadline. The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) wants to have all nine corridors of the Rs19,500 crore Metro Rail functional in just over five years. To make it possible, the MMRDA would be attempting to self-finance the crucial built-operate-transfer (BoT) project.

“Projects like the Metro require massive capital. Moreover, the BoT process quite taxing. So, it is in our best interest to tap the potential of BKC to its fullest and speed up the project,” said Metropolitan Commissioner T Chandrashekhar.

The MMRDA is also looking at other avenues to raise funds. FSI incentive, along with commercial exploitation of land, at the proposed InterState Bus Terminal in Wadala is expected to rake in around Rs2,500 crore.

Also, the MMRDA’s appointment as special planning authority for the proposed growth centres in Bhiwandi and Kalyan will fetch more funds.

Sources said the MMRDA pushed its case for more developable area in the BKC with the state following the approval of FSI 4 for the Dharavi redevelopment project. Another cue was taken from their next-door neighbours — the joint venture of Reliance and Maker Group, who were allowed to increase the height of their buildings from 30 to 70 metre by the AAI.

“We have no desire to go around with a begging bowl anymore, not even to foreign banks which take a long time to process loans and place stringent measures. We can undertake the Metro project on our own and finish it in record time,” said Chandrashekhar.

Jai Apr 30, 2007 5:12 AM

City gets world-class public loo
A long needed and major step on the road to modernization and development.

City gets world-class public loo

Toilet complexes come equipped with a host of facilities

Sandeep Ashar
DNA Epaper 29 APR

Mumbai got its first “worldclass” public toilet when Mayor Shubha Raul inaugurated a sophisticated public convenience built by Fumes International near the Santacruz airport on Sunday. The function was attended by outgoing Municipal Commissioner Johny Joseph and Additional Municipal Commissioner R A Rajeev among others.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has sanctioned Delhi-based Fumes International to construct 100 such complexes in the city in the next one year. To be run by Fumes on a built-operate and transfer basis for 10 years, the public conveniences are set to come up across the city, including Wilson College at Charni Road, Worli Sea face, Nariman Point, and Mahim Church. Two of them, one near the domestic airport on the Western Express Highway and the other opposite the Mayor’s bungalow at Shivaji Park in Dadar, are ready for use.

BMC chief engineer for solid waste management R R Markendeya said, “Spacious and with regular running water, the facility at Santacruz has four toilet blocks for men and three for women and separate toilets for the physically-challenged.” Stating that the blocks were planned keeping in mind people’s changing attitude towards using public conveniences, Markendeya added,” The utility has been outfitted with hand dryers, liquid soap and separate shower rooms, while well-lit interiors, an aquarium and a water fountain facing the road add an aesthetic appeal.”

Fumes International has built more than 30 such toilets in Delhi since 1998. A team of Mumbai municipal officials visited Delhi in 2005 to find out more about Fumes’ toilets. Impressed with what they saw, the firm was contracted to construct similar toilet complexes at a cost of Rs25 lakh each.

Jai May 1, 2007 6:11 AM

And another welcome development


Plans Are Ready For The Dadar-Mahim Seafront Makeover. But Can They Plug Illegal Drains, Resettle Slums Quickly?

TOI Epaper 30 APR
Clara Lewis | TNN

Faced with a barrage of criticism regarding the poor upkeep of Mumbai’s western waterfront, the civic administration is now planning a beach nourishment plan along 4.5 kms of the Dadar-Prabhadevi seaface. The project, which includes building promenades and restoring gardens along the seaface, is aimed at restoring a beach that has been washed away under waves of sewage, flotsam and debris.

The stretch to be covered is from the Hinduja hospital end at Mahim to Worli village and will take around two years to complete from the day work commences. “We are planning to appoint a consultant to revive this beach which, at present, is bereft of sand,’’ said R A Rajeev, additional municipal commissioner.

The project is estimated to cost around Rs 12-15 crore and will require sand to be imported from other beaches (and even the desert) to make the stretch more hospitable to residents and holidaying crowds.

Work is likely to start in six months to a year, and would be a daunting task considering that it would require diverting sewage lines which spew out waste on to the beach, resettling slum dwellers living nearby, and coordination between agencies because land comes under the collector’s jurisdiction and the revamp is being planned by the civic corporation.

The blueprint is based on an idea put forward by architect P K Das who has also been involved in the beautification and restoration of Carter Road, Bandra Bandstand and Juhu beach. “Das will be appointed as a consultant since he already has a plan ready,’’ said Rajeev.

Of late, BMC has been repeatedly censured by activists and citizen groups regarding the plight of Mumbai’s beaches including those at Versova, Dadar and Marve. Mahim resident Ravi Thatte, who is also on a civic supervisory panel, says, “The beach is polluted by untreated sewage from illegal drains. BMC had appointed a contractor to clean up the beach, but he’s not doing a very good job. There are also two slums in the area. Restoring the beach is a grandiose plan and will take a lot of doing.’’

It was former Lok Sabha speaker and Dadar resident Manohar Joshi who set the ball rolling for the Dadar revival plan after a visit to Bandra where the waterfront had been restored. Joshi proposed that a wall be constructed to prevent the beach from further erosion. Eventually, the idea of a wall was shot down when environmentalists pointed out potentially adverse effects. “Sea-wall construction is now banned in the US as well as central Europe. It is believed that it damages the environment by restricting the natural cycle of in and outflow of water. Also the impact of construction of a sea-wall is felt at other beaches where the displaced water reclaims its space,’’ said Das.

Joshi’s suggestions, however, spurred a group to work on an alternate plan. To start with, a coastal and hydraulic study was carried out by DHI (India) Water and Environment Pvt Ltd at the site. This included drawing up a description of the area’s coastline, an assessment of the wave climate and hydrodynamic conditions in the bay, and compiling recommendations on how to implement the project.

The study found the Dadar-Prabhadevi stretch to be a shallow tidal beach, narrow and sloping. Government’s efforts to protect the coast had resulted in rubble encroaching upon it. Besides drains open onto it and unplanned constructions have contributed to the debris and pollution.


Phase I

This includes a proposal to increase the width of the beach from 5 metres to 50 metres across a stretch of 1.5 km from S K Bole Marg to Suryavanshi Kshatriya Sabhagriha Marg.

Phase II

This includes redevelopment of the beach at Hinduja Hospital, Keluskar Marg (North & South), Mayor’s Bungalow, development of two gardens — Baji Prabhu Udyan and Sant Dnyaneshwar Udyan — apart from creation of access roads and promenades

Total cost: Rs 12-15 crore


Beach nourishment by bringing in sand from other places: 9 months Redevelopment of two gardens along the waterfront: 4 months Promenades to be built at two locations: 6 months Extension of drains to divert the sewage: 4 months Building access roads: 6 months


Since the bay at Dadar-Mahim has very little sand, it has been decided to bring it in from outside. “Roughly around 300 trucks per day for 6 months or six barges a day for four months will be sufficient to create the beach. While the sea will continue to wash away sand it will also bring it back and the loss will be minimal,’’ said P K Das, architect in charge of the project. Sand will be brought in from other beaches, and may be even the desert. Some replenishment of sand may also be required every 5-10 years.

Jai May 1, 2007 6:16 AM

Mumbai looks to be getting another project with at least one -- possibly more than one -- supertall. And we are not talking about the previously anncounced India International Trade Center (see details on this project below), but the Mumbai International Finance Centre. First read the article and check out my comments below the article that follows.


Govt shortlists 3 sites for financial hub

[21 Apr, 2007 l 0147 hrs ISTlTIMES NEWS NETWORK]

MUMBAI: The International Financial Centre (IFC) in the city, a 10-year-old project dogged by delays, may come up about sooner rather than later. :cheers:

State government officials are already scouting around for a suitable site in which to house the complex and are considering sites at Dadar, CST and another on Bombay Port Trust land.

Officials said three sites were being considered: Rashtriya Textile Mill site owned by National Textile at Dadar, a plot within Bombay Port Trust land and a site off P D'Mello Road near CST on railway land. All are located in south Mumbai.

The IFC has been discussed for over a decade in the city for better international financial services and boost economic opportunities in the metropolis. However, the plan has never moved beyond the discussion stage. Of late though, it has acquired momentum following the release of a Union ministry of finance report, which looked at the framework needed to be put in place for Mumbai to be promoted as an global destination for commerce.

Secretary for special projects in the city, Sanjay Ubale, admitted that government was keen on going ahead with the project. FM P Chidambaram's visit to the city later this month is expected to give the project a further boost.

The model being considered for the plan is the Hong Kong International Financial Centre complex which has two tall buildings housing such a centre. Officials said the Hong Kong IFC has "a signature building" which is the tallest in the territory and the fourth tallest in the world with 88 storeys.


Ok, let's put down what we know about these two projects...

The facts we know about the India International Trade Tower (IITC)

• The NTC's IITT will be 1050 feet/72 storeys in height

• It will be is located on the 11.96-acre India United Mill No. 6 at Pravhadevi.

• The cost of the tower's construction will be around Rs. 700 crore (approx $170.5 million USD)

NTC has officially confirmed that the tower will be built.


The facts we know about the Mumbai International Financial Centre (IFC)

• The project apparently has been 10 years in the making. However, it recently got impetus due to the recent High Powered Expert Committee (HPEC)'s report detailing steps to take to make Mumbai an International Financial Centre (MIFC).

• It seems that this project is supported by city, state and national governments and will be implemented soon. We will likely get more word on what this project is when will come when India's Finance Minister P. Chidambaram visits the city.

• There 3 possible sites under consideration for the project:
- NTC's Rashtriya Textile Mill, in the Mill Lands -- where I guess it will complement all the other towers being built on other NTC mill lands by private developers.

- a plot in Bombay Port Trust land -- perhaps finally opening up the huge, prime, seafront land to skyscraper (commerical/CBD/docklands?) development?

- a site off P D'Mello Road near CST on railway lands -- right the hell downtown. Perhaps someone can correct me, but I don't think there is much room here for other skycrapers to be built, as it is in a historic district. Unless the raillways want to release more land for development, I doubt there will be potential for major future skyscraper clustering a la a proper CBD.

• It is to be a major commercial center modeled on HK's International Finance Center complex, which consists of a major mall, three towers (88 storeys, 40 storeys and 39 storeys), one of them the signature One IFC, one of them a hotel. One IFC is HK's tallest building.

- This modeling business implies that surely there will be a signature tower, most likely a supertall. I'm guessing that at least a major mall would be built as well (pure speculation.) If it is modeled on the HK IFC, perhaps a complementary building (a Two IFC) will also be built? From this view, possibly a cluster of Trade Centre buildings will be built.

- To show some of the possibility of the scale of the project, check out HK's IFC:


Comparing the Two Towers

• OK, now the the National Textile Corporation is a Central Public Sector Enterprise which is building the IITC on funds earned through the sale of the mill lands to major developers.

• This International Finance Center seems to be a government funded project, though skimming through the HPEC's report, this project is likely to be a public-private venture.

• The IITC is to be 72 stories and will be located in an area anchoring the current Parel/Back Bay skyline and the future Dharavi redevelopment skyline. The IFC will be located on either the Port Lands, the Mills or by CST, the former two are two future sites of skyscraper development. In each, it will serve to anchor the skyline. If it is to be located in the Port Lands, it may finally open this area to development sooner than expected.

Both the IITC and the IFC are designed to be catalysts for business, trade and commercial skyscraper development. By signing off on these two projects, the government has made a very public and visible green light on encouraging commercial skyscraper construction in Mumbai. Commercial skyscrapers are not only taller, but more costly and inherantly of better quality than residental towers, which all but a handful of Mumbai's major projects are.

The seeming drive to suddenly crash modernize Mumbai's infrastructure (metro, freeways, sea-links, rail) probably got moved to the front burner due to the recommendations this report, and underscores Mumbai is trying to develop the infra that can sustain such huge commercial projects (which are more of a strain on transport than purely residential towers are; consider the large numbers of office workers that will be commuting to and from work)


Jai May 9, 2007 4:53 AM

New Commercial Supertall: Mumbai International Financial Center
Guys, this is HUGE news that friggin came out of nowhere to us seasoned skyscraper enthusiats here... The news is over a week old and no one came across it!

Mumbai looks to be getting another project with at least one -- possibly more than one -- supertall. And we are not talking about the India International Trade Center. First read the article and check out my comments below.

>>> I created a new thread in this forum specifically detailed to these projects. Please check it out. I also added my comments to this article in that thread. <<<

Govt shortlists 3 sites for financial hub

[21 Apr, 2007 l 0147 hrs ISTlTIMES NEWS NETWORK]

MUMBAI: The International Financial Centre (IFC) in the city, a 10-year-old project dogged by delays, may come up about sooner rather than later. :cheers:

State government officials are already scouting around for a suitable site in which to house the complex and are considering sites at Dadar, CST and another on Bombay Port Trust land.

Officials said three sites were being considered: Rashtriya Textile Mill site owned by National Textile at Dadar, a plot within Bombay Port Trust land and a site off P D'Mello Road near CST on railway land. All are located in south Mumbai.

The IFC has been discussed for over a decade in the city for better international financial services and boost economic opportunities in the metropolis. However, the plan has never moved beyond the discussion stage.

Of late though, it has acquired momentum following the release of a Union ministry of finance report, which looked at the framework needed to be put in place for Mumbai to be promoted as an global destination for commerce.

Secretary for special projects in the city, Sanjay Ubale, admitted that government was keen on going ahead with the project. FM P Chidambaram's visit to the city later this month is expected to give the project a further boost.

The model being considered for the plan is the Hong Kong International Financial Centre complex which has two tall buildings housing such a centre.

Officials said the Hong Kong IFC has "a signature building" which is the tallest in the territory and the fourth tallest in the world with 88 storeys.

Jai May 9, 2007 4:53 AM

This is a cool picture. From today's TOI

NEW LIFE IN A HIGH-RISE: Slumdwellers who once resided in the Sanjay Gandhi National Park look skywards at their new multi-storeyed dwellings in Chandivali on Tuesday. The 30 families were the first of a group of 4,142 households which will be shifted in the next ten days.

Jai May 9, 2007 4:55 AM

With official word of this project just announced last week, the 85-storey Hyatt Park Tower, India's tallest under construction building officially broke ground.

Designed by Fox and Fowle (FXFOWLE) architects as part of three-hotel luxury project being developed by Neelkamal Realtors in conjunction with Hyatt hotels, Hyatt Park tower is located at Marine Lines, Mumbai, just north of the city's historical district. It marks the southernmost point of a major region of skyscraper development that currently stretches north to under construction Parel/Back Bay skyline.

A mixed-used development totalling 882,000 sq ft, Hyatt Park tower, in the architects' own words:

...centers on creating an iconic residential mixed-use building within India's emerging new economy.

The 85-storey tower is informed by distinctive indoor/outdoor environments and the desire to optimise the panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

The tower's rotated form emerges in response to the buildings functional requirements and its mixed-use program - which changes with each twist of the structure. This circulation pattern separates retail, 5-star hotel and serviced apartments and long lease duplex penthouse condominium apartments within a sustainable network of green roofs and hanging gardens; creating a singular, extraordinary building that, when completed, will be the tallest and greenest building in India.
Emails to the architect (thanks spyguy) reveals that the tower is currently under construction and will have a height of 301m. Whether this is roof height is not yet clear.

While currently rather seperated from the current skyscraper construction, it is located at the southern end of what will be a massive skyscraper-laden redevelopment region that will see a long skyline anchored in the north at Dharavi, west at Worli, in the middle at Parel, and in the south at Back Bay.

Though developers in Mumbai tend to be ultra-secretive about their projects until they have broken ground (it wasn't even known that this project even existed until a couple days ago when the Hyatt told the Economic Times newspaper about it), other developers have made known that they are planning skyscrapers at Marine Lines. Currently a 50-storey commercial skyscraper, and 2-3 other projects, including the possible supertall Mumbai International Finance Centre, are planned around the location where Park Hyatt tower is being built.

Here are some more renderings. I will update this first post as more renderings and information come out.
^ Looking South towards Historic mumbai. Looking North will be a view of the under construction skyline around Parel


Arihant Aradhana, Khargar:


Arihant Darpan, Mulund:


BTW, here is Shankala Group's Sterling Tower, Magazon: 34-35 stories


G Square Business Park, Vashi: looks to be ~34 stories

Jai May 9, 2007 4:56 AM

Paying tribute - A new landmark in BKC
Paying tribute - A new landmark in BKC


Post-monsoon, RIL will start building Dhirubhai Ambani International Convention and Exhibition Centre

Smita Deshmukh
DNA India Epaper - 07 May 2007

Culture, commerce and community. That will be the theme of Mumbai’s next-generation global business address. With environment clearance, design approval and site preparation in place, decks are being cleared for the proposed Dhirubhai Ambani International Convention and Exhibition Centre (DAICEC) in the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC). Work is scheduled to begin post-monsoon, with officials eyeing an early 2009 deadline for the launch.
Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) made a clinching bid of Rs 1,104 crore for the 75,000 square metre plot in January 2006. Personally monitored by RIL Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani, along with his wife Neeta, the project will be the family’s tribute to the late Dhirubhai Ambani.

The DAICEC will have 20,000 square metre commercial area, while the remaining 55,000 square metre has been earmarked as Convention and Exhibition (C&E) area.

The RIL’s global signature headquarters will be shifting to the commercial area, which will house its corporate office and those of its main partners and vendors.

The Rs 2,000-crore project will be an architectural delight— the sprawling 25,000 square metre exhibition area will have five halls offering banquet facilities to 4,000 people, board rooms of varying sizes — fit for contingents of any size between 20 and 450, Congress hall for 1,500 people, VIP lounges, 24-hour multi-cuisine restaurants and shopping area.

The most prominent feature of the hub will be the 2,000-seat performing arts theatre and convention hall designed on the lines of Los Angeles’ Kodak theatre. “The entire area will have a large outdoor public concourse, which will be integrated to create a venue for big international events in Mumbai. The DAICEC will also trigger economic benefits for the city,” said RIL’s Shalin Tandon, the project leader.

RIL is also planning a 150-room boutique hotel, with an exclusive Billionaire’s Club for global business bosses and heads of states to reside and interact. To make the eco-friendly environment complete, there will be musical fountains and water bodies. “We will develop a waterfront along the Mithi river, once its cleanup phases are over. We have told top MMRDA officials that the promenade would be a tourist attraction,” said Tandon.

With an estimated 1,50,000 people expected to throng the area daily, RIL is bidding for plots in BKC for parking. “The main design has parking facility for 6,000 cars. We are in the process of acquiring an RG1 plot next door, which has two-level underground car parks. The integration of the DAICEC with the entire BKC will facilitate traffic management,” said Tandon.

Special features
- RIL made a clinching bid of Rs 1,104 crore for the 75,000 square metre plot in January 2006

- Personally monitored by Neeta and Mukesh Ambani, the project will be a tribute to the late Dhirubhai Ambani

- 20,000 sq mt has been earmarked as commercial area. It will house the RIL corporate office and those of its main partners and vendors The 25,000 sq mt exhibition area will have 5 banquet halls, board rooms, VIP lounges, 24-hour multi-cuisine restaurants and shopping area

- The most prominent feature will be the 2,000-seat performing arts theatre and convention hall resembling Los Angeles' Kodak theatre

Jai May 9, 2007 4:58 AM

Mumbai seems replete with good news these last weeks!
Mumbai seems replete with good news these last weeks!

Revamp for British-era chawls

Naresh Kamath
Hindustan Times Epaper - 08 May 2007

THE REDEVELOPMENT of the British Improvement Trust (BIT) chawls — built as working class dwellings during the British rule — got a green signal in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Tuesday.

The general body meeting on Tuesday approved the proposal amid much controversy.

The passing of the proposal means land will be freed for largescale real estate development in the island city. Builders have been eyeing the chawl area as they are on prime locations such as Byculla, Agripada, Mumbai Central, Parel, Mazgaon and Sion. The Agripada chawl will be the first to be redeveloped among the 133 BIT chawls in the city.

“The buildings are in a dilapidated condition. With this move, residents will get decent houses,” said Sunil Prabhu, leader of the BMC House and Shiv Sena corporator.

BIT chawl residents stay in matchbox-sized 180 sq ft dwellings, originally designed for single males. The British built the chawls to provide housing to men who migrated to the city to work in mills.

The BMC has awarded development rights for Agripada BIT chawls No 5 and 7 to Vignaharta Builders Private Limited owned by Sunil Mane.

Those who are critical of the redevelopment plan accuse the BMC of selling out to the builder lobby.

“An IIT survey stated the two structures are not dilapidated,” said Nationalist Congress Party corporator Niyaz Wanu. “The BMC should have invited tenders instead of just handing over such valuable assets to a private party.” According to the proposal, Mane will offer 250 sq ft homes free to the 144 residents in the two buildings. He has also pledged to offer Rs 1 crore as corpus fund to the residents to pay off maintenance charges. In return, the developer will get 20,000 sq ft for sale in the open market.

Resident Jeevan Aawankar, who has been opposing the scheme, called it a conspiracy to drive ordinary Mumbaiites out of the city. “We cannot afford to pay thousands of rupees in maintenance charges. We will have to eventually sell off our flats,” said Aawankar. As of now, residents pay Rs 20 as rent.

Mane, who was waiting at the civic headquarters awaiting the decision, said majority of the residents approved of the redevelopment plan. “I have the consent of the majority of residents. A handful are against me,” said Mane. “Even the high court has ruled in my favour.”

Jai May 9, 2007 5:06 AM

From today's DNA Epaper.

Nothing new, just some opinions. Best to just view the full size versions

Jai May 9, 2007 5:12 AM

Public Hospital to get Private Touch

“ The hospital’s modernisation plan is intended to meet our existing needs and also to cater to needs 20 years down the line. There is a huge gap in what the hospital provides and what is needed. This gap is going to increase drastically. —Dr Nilima Kshirsagar, dean, KEM Hospital

The 80-year-old KEM Hospital is getting a Rs700-crore makeover. The huge grant will enable the hospital to buy new technologies, set up advanced research labs and restore the heritage building. Deepa Suryanarayan tells us what to expect after the revamp of one of the city’s biggest hospitals

[Read article in thumbnail below]

ab041937 May 9, 2007 12:38 PM


Originally Posted by Jai (Post 2823365)
From today's DNA Epaper.

Nothing new, just some opinions. Best to just view the full size versions

Good to know that there are many other who share the concern regarding Mumbai airport. Its a national embaressment and those thick-skinned politicians are now selling the Shanghai dream in the midst of this smelly rubble. I wonder when are these politicians going to realized that India is now a low-middle income nation & going to be a strong middle income nation in a decade's time. Atleast, now is the time for them to reform out of their rhino hide.

Jai May 11, 2007 4:43 AM

Courtesy Spyguy
Residence Antilia is a 24-story high-rise residential building located in the heart of the city of Mumbai. The building program is divided into public and private spaces for the family and their guests. The building’s design is in direct response to unique programmatic elements and a desire to maximize the views around the site.

The building's shape consists of a series of continuous undulating surfaces both horizontal and vertical which helps to define each programmatic element while simultaneously unifying the composition. This undulating ribbon, or snake frame, serves as a secondary structure that transform the floor loads to the building core. The vertical surfaces of the frame are articulated with a steel lattice and contain a series of planter beds effectively transforming the facades into living green walls that will filter light and enhance the local micro climate of each level. It will be seen as a visual extension of the lush landscaping that surrounds the building, effectively creating an oasis in the sky.

My comments:
Let's look at the question of Antilia Residence's height.

Here's a blow up, clarified version of the rendering:

From the rendering, the tower obviously looks taller than 24 storeys -- closer to 36+ by my count.

Let's try to find some concensus to reconcile this. Now, according to some recent news articles....


This article says:
Antilia Residence is to be 245m tall.

To put the size of this building in perspective, the famous Imperial Towers in Mumbai are 249m tall -- and that is spire height. There doesn't seem to be any spire or roof effects on the rendering of Antilia Residence. Assuming the standrad Indian 3.5m/floor measurement, Antilia Residence would have the 'equivalent' size of a 70 storey building. If it is this size, it will dominate the Mumbai skyline much like The Imperial towers will.

• The tower will have among other things: 6 floors of parking; 4 floors of gardens; 1 "entertainment" floor; 2 floors of guest apartments

• Construction is expected to be completed by November, 2008.


This article says:
Antilia Residence is to be 40 storeys tall. Not only that, but, in confrimation of the 'living wall' tidbit, the article states that the tower will have a "vertical garden" going all the way to the 40th floor. Taking account non-standard architecture, the 40 storey building very well may reach 245m in height.

• The bottom six floors will be dedicated to parking. Kitchen, laundry and other services will each have their own floors.

• The building will have little less than 10 million sq ft of built-up area

• Ambani expected to move in in late 2008.


So to extrapolate from the above facts....

perhaps the 24 floors are the Ambani family's actual living space? + 6 floors parking + 4 floors gardens + 2 floors guest apartments + 1 floor theater + 1 floor kitchen + 1 floor laundry + other unspecified floors = 39+ floors. So I am guessing we have confirmation of the 40 floor height? Note that a floor count estimation of the rendering spyguy posted gives me 36 + floors.

It's worth noting that the 2nd design of this tower (the one by architect James Young) was officially called 22 floors high. However, this even more obviously conflicted with the renderings which clearly showed a 40-storey building.

In conclusion..
Seeing as two independent news articles basically gave the same height information -- information that corroborates with visual floor counts on two renderings -- I'm going with a est. height of 40 fl / 245m.

*phew* that's all I got now.


Jai May 17, 2007 12:39 AM

Firstly, here's a rendering of Royal Palms's Rs 600 cr SEZ coming up in Royal Palms Estates in Goregaon


Also, here are some week-old HDR snaps taken by Humayunn N A Peerzaada @ flickr that I originally posted in Mumbai Cityscapes, but is also relevant here, as it shows some construction updates

Byculla to Bandra:
Supersized Version of this Photo

Nagpada to Malabar Hill:
Supersized Version of this Photo

JJ Flyover to Colaba:
Supersized Version of this Photo

Jai May 17, 2007 12:39 AM

Global tenders for Dharavi redevelopment soon
Global tenders for Dharavi soon

15 May 07
Yogesh Naik
TOI Epaper

Mumbai: After a delay of several months, the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada) will finally issue global tenders for the Dharavi Redevelopment project by May-end. Dharavi is Asia’s largest slum.

State housing secretary Swadheen Kshatriya said, “Various issues related to the project had to be resolved. The tenders were to be issued in October, but several reasons caused the delay. We had a series of meetings with the residents of Dharavi since October. The tenders will be issued in two weeks, soon after CM Vilasrao Deshmukh okays our plan.’’

A housing department official said the entire Dharavi slum had been earlier divided into 10 zones. Now, the slum has been divided into five zones and each bidder will bid for only one zone. “We wanted a better and planned development, hence the housing department reduced the number of zones,’’ the official said.

From an initial cost of 5,600 crore, the project’s cost has shot up to Rs 9,000 crore. The redevelopment aims to resettle 60,000 families who will get houses of 225 sq ft each. The project is expected to be completed in five to seven years. The buildings for rehabilitation will be of seven storeys each.

Kshatriya said the residents of Dharavi had raised many valid points and the housing department had tried to accommodate some of their demands.

Mhada officials said nearly 28 months had been spent on giving final touches to the plan. “In the last few months, we had several discussions with NGOs and groups in the slum to figure out their needs.”

Jai May 17, 2007 12:45 AM

City will breathe easy once SEZ comes up
City will breathe easy once SEZ comes up

15 May 07
DNA Epaper

Plans for Reliance's Navi Mumbai Special Economic Zone (SEZ) have hit a road block as a railway line passes through proposed corridor that lies between Pen and Uran in Raigad district. So, everyone is now waiting for May 31, when the Centre's inter-ministerial Board of Approvals (BoA) meeting is slated to be held.

Though the BoA has given its approval for the 2,150 hectare SEZ in principle, formal approval was withheld during the last meeting.

The reason the board gave was that a railway line passed through the zone, which might result in revenue loss to the finance ministry. The SEZ will be a deemed foreign territory with duty-free import and export facility.

Being planned on 2,150 hectare of the coastal belt, the Navi Mumbai Special Economic Zone (NMSEZ) and the futuristic Mumbai Special Economic Zone (MSEZ) — which would come up on 5,000 hectare adjacent to it — are emerging as an attempt to decongest an overcrowded Mumbai.

In a recent interview to a private television channel, Anand Jain, chairman of the Reliance-led project revealed that SEZ townships, deemed to be foreign territories, would be world-class cities that will offer economic, trade, civic, recreational, and entertainment facilities to over one million residents and two million people who will work there.

According to Jain, the proposed trans-harbour-link between Nhava and Sewree will reduce the distance between mainland Mumbai and the SEZ by 20 minutes and will strengthen the Pune-Mumbai industrial corridor.

“Surely, it will be a new urban and industrial platform... The new towns will offer the best of hospitality, health and educational facilities," said a highly placed official at NMSEZ, according to whom, the BoA's approval of the NMSEZ was to be a mere formality.

Even as the Maharashtra government expects an investment of over Rs2,00,000 crore from Indian majors and multinationals at this economic and trade zone, Reliance has revised its SEZ projections, and is now expecting investments of over Rs3,00,000crore.

“The revision of the target has come following the hike in its project cost from Rs25,000 crore to Rs30,000 crore," NMSEZ sources reveal.

Till date, the total domestic commitment from the Indian majors is more than Rs5,000 crore.

Even the target of power generation for SEZ has gone up from 1,600MW to 2,080MW. Top IT establishments, health care groups, automobile giants, and reputed names in hospitality business have already registered their interest in the new SEZ. So far, 700 foreign multinationals and over 300 domestic companies have put up a proposal to set up their industrial and trading establishments in the upcoming SEZs.

An official with City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO), the state's nodal agency for SEZ project, said the RIL-led NMSEZ will offer six basic facilities — roads, water supply, rain-water disposal system, an underground sewage network, power supply, and telephone lines. The steamline and gas connections are under consideration and will be extended depending upon the requirement of industries, revealed the official.

Business houses in this zone will be offered special tax rebate, as the idea is to attract more and more private firms and multinationals to the area. The zone will offer special relief on export and import duties to industrial set-ups.

The proximity of Dronagiri in Uran to the Mumbai-Pune Express Highway, the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, the proposed SewriUran sea link and the Navi Mumbai airport, has enabled the state in developing it as an SEZ. The area is already in demand from many business groups in and outside the country. “We are still planning the design details and broad zoning for our 900 clients, who have shown interest in setting up their business installations here. The response to the SEZ is just mind-boggling. It will take two years to put in place the best infrastructure,” said a NMSEZ official who is involved in the planning process.

The government expects massive investments from pharmaceutical, bio-technology, cloth, and petrochemical industries in these SEZs.

NMSEZ waits for official go-ahead Over 400 cream recruits at the newly set up office of the Navi Mumbai SEZ Development Corporation Ltd (NMSC) in CBD Belapur await the formal enactment and notification. “We are still at the planning stage since it is going to be the most gigantic of the infrastructure projects ever in the country,” said a NMSEZ official.

And now that the NMSEZ has been taken over by the Reliance group, the project has picked up steam. Talking to DNA another NMSEZ official said unless the government issued a notification, they would not perform a bhoomi pujan and fix a deadline for the project.

However, the fencing of 450 hectare of land is underway.

The first phase worth Rs5,000crore will be completed in two years with the Reliance-led conglomerate gathering over Rs3,000 crore in equity and shares.

RIL has a 75 per cent stake in the Maha Mumbai SEZ and a 49 per cent in Navi Mumbai SEZ. The SKIL has a 25 per cent stake in the Mumbai SEZ.

NMSEZ officials, however, refused to divulge the names of companies which have shown an interest in setting up a business at the Reliance SEZ in Dronagiri. While actual Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) was yet to be calculated, sources, disclosed that over 200 multinationals had queued up to register at the SEZ. They are estimated to bring in over Rs8,000 crore.

It may be recalled that the central and state governments have already given consent to the SEZ Bill in 2005 and that Commerce and Industries Minister Kamal Nath had declared that the implementation on the bill had begun with effect from February 10, 2006.

Contours of the SEZ
¦ NMSEZ has already started fencing 450 hectare of land handed acquired last year. The state government recently sanctioned 400MLD of water from the Balganga River for the NMSEZ project. It will be a permanent source of water.

¦ The land being used for the SEZ includes parts of villages and talukas like Dronagiri, Ulve, Kalamboli, and Uran. The equity participation in the project by private companies is around 74 per cent while that of the CIDCO stands at 26 per cent.

¦ As per the agreement, the developer of SEZ, i.e. Reliance-led NMSEZ Ltd, will have to complete the infrastructure work within six years. The company will be responsible for the development of all basic infrastructural facilities. Fifteen per cent of the total SEZ land will be used for residential purposes.

¦ The equity partnership vehicle of RIL comprises Reliance Gas, Reliance Exclusion, Avinash Bhonsle, Nikhil Gandhi, the Hiranandanis, Pet Fibre, and Jay Corporation.

¦ The Union Commerce and Industries Ministry has given consent to the development of 117 SEZs in 15 different states and union territories, of which 51 SEZs have been technically given approval while 66 SEZs are officially under consideration.

¦ The Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) appears to have learnt a lesson from Nandigram. The industry major has begun acquiring land on its own by convincing farmers to sell, and has already purchased 1,200 acres of the total 25,000 acres needed for its Mumbai Special Economic Zone (MMSEZ) project.

¦ Following protest over the acquisitions, Reliance has announced attractive packages for farmers - Rs25 lakh compensation per hectare, 12.50 per cent developed land, and employment for one family member. The process of acquisition for MMSEZ is expected to be over by December 2007.

Jai May 22, 2007 6:56 PM

State wants extra FSI for building revamp

21 May 07
HT Epaper

Ketaki Ghoge

THE MAHARASHTRA government will request the Bombay High Court to consider increasing the Floor Space Index (FSI) for reconstruction of old and dilapidated buildings in the city.

This was announced by Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh while speaking at a function in South Central Mumbai on Sunday. He said the state would convince the high court as it was being difficult to redevelop the old buildings and rehabilitate the tenants.

The high court has restricted the FSI granted on redevelopment of such buildings to four. There are around 16,000 cessed structures in the island city alone. The state housing department feels granting more FSI would enable the developer of old buildings to give bigger tenements to the tenants and also get profit.

"The cap of 4 FSI is little bit unfair. It is affecting the redevelopment. We will present our view before the High Court to grant more FSI,"Deshmukh who himself heads the housing department said.

The redevelopment of old buildings in Mumbai is a major issue in state's proposed housing policy. The Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada) is surveying similar properties in the suburbs.

"The government will request the high court to set up a committee to suggest more FSI for dilapidated buildings," said Deshmukh. The increased FSI is also likely to attract more developers, who may not consider this as a viable option now. The state government is also mulling over the option of allowing cluster development of old buildings. "The developers will be asked to go in for development of cluster of 3-4 buildings," Deshmukh said.


Jai May 22, 2007 6:57 PM

First, this is a nice rundown of current mill land re-development projects, from 16 May's TOI Epaper:


A construction update on The Legend.

Looks like it has resumed construction! It looks significantly wider from this angle (head on) than in other pics we've seen

pics by StargazerAditi @ flickr:


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