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Jai Mar 17, 2007 8:36 PM

Some new projects


Wadhwa Developers's Anmol Annex, Goregaon (West): 25 stories


Rustomjee Athena, Thane (West): Three towers of 30 stories each


excel Mar 17, 2007 8:41 PM

wow cool bridge.

Jai Mar 20, 2007 3:16 AM

Some construction updates

Sahara Star (ex centaur hotel) construction update, from attack of the darkness @ flickr:



Originally Posted by Suncity (@ssc)
Orbit Heights - looks like it is very near to Shreepati

So now that the general location is known, it should be easier to spot. It is however still too short (or is it behind Shreepati?) to be seen from the panoramic skyline pictures posted earlier.


Jai Mar 20, 2007 3:21 AM

Credits also go to Suncity :)


Firstly Dynamix Group's Orchid Woods, Goregaon (East): this is the rendering from the builder's website:

This is one from a property website. Looks somewhat different -- like no spire, larger podium, better landscaping, etc.:

It has a larger podium than the first rendering: 8 storey podium + 48 storey tower + 2-3 storey penthouse. In total 58-59 storeys tall.

Who knows which rendering is the correct one. Personally, I'm going with the top (spired) one, as it appeared on the Developer's website


Now on to Oberoi Constructions's updates:

From their new website, it seems that Oberoi Woods, Goregaon is confirmed to be the 'old' design (below, left) and not the 'new' design that appeared on Hafeez Contractor's website (below, right):

As also evidenced by this u/c pic from this month, posted in the cityscapes thread:

The website also has some hitherto unseen pics of the landscaping of the project:

All in all, its too bad. The original buildings look bland. The new ones would have been striking. But I guess time/budget constriants forced the developer to go with the old plan.


Oberoi Commerz


Oberoi Sky Heights, Andheri (West) is looking a lot better than its renderings:

I see only one tower though?


While not looking like its 'old' rendering, Oberoi Springs, Andheri (West) also looks different from the 'new' rendering below:

This is what they have on their website:


Here's another view of Splendor, Andheri (East)


Finally, Oberoi Skyz, Worli, the 60 storey twin tower whose rendering has so far eluded us...


Oberoi developers seem to also have this upcoming residential project to look out for:
Oberoi Exotica, Mulund



Jai Mar 22, 2007 2:48 AM

Reliance to build skyscrapers?
This is big news, as Reliance is the company set to create the MahaMumbai SEZ, a planned city that will rival Mumbai and New Mumbai in size, and is planned to have a skyscraper-laden CBD.

REL wants to turn slums to skyscrapers

HT Epaper 21 APR 07
Madhurima Nandy
RELIANCE ENERGY Limited (REL), part of the ADAG group and one of India’s biggest conglomerates, is now planning to get into the slum rehabilitation business.

The company, which inherited tracts of land in Mumbai’s suburbs when it took over Bombay Suburban Electric Supply (BSES), is proposing to develop these plots, all of which have been encroached upon.

An REL spokesperson from Delhi confirmed that the company is looking at ways to rehouse encroachers. “We have some land that is illegally occupied. We want to provide these encroachers with alternative accommodation... we also need land to build receiving stations,” he said.

The spokesperson did not have details of the size or locations of the plots owned by the company.

Like a typical slum rehab scheme, REL, which owns these plots, would rehouse slumdwellers and in return, get a vast sprawl of land to construct buildings to be sold at market rates.

Speaking to HT, D.S. Malwankar, joint director and finance controller of the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA), said the corporate house had appointed architect Shrimati Deodhar to draw up the plans.

“REL is seeking clarifications on different slum rehab schemes and their architect has been meeting SRA officials in this regard,” he said. “They are yet to submit their project proposal.” Senior SRA officials, meanwhile, said REL is contemplating building residential towers that would be sold on the open market.

They also said it would not be difficult for REL to get its plans sanctioned by the SRA, since the land is owned by the company.

Jai Mar 24, 2007 10:13 PM

Today's HT


Looks like Anmol Annex has been redesigned only a week after its original design (see this post for it) came out. Seems to be 32 stories:


It's good to see that even smaller developers are building increasingly better looking buildings. Here's one from Lakhani Developers' Centrium


Jai Mar 27, 2007 7:18 PM

$20 Billion DLF + Nakheel real estate venture for Delhi and Mumbai
DLF signs deal with UAE developer for $20 billion India venture

27 March 2007

Mumbai: DLF, India's largest real estate developer, has entered into an agreement with Al Nakheel group of the United Arab Emirates to develop two integrated townships in the suburbs of Mumbai and New Delhi, involving investments of $20 billion. :happy:

The companies will initially invest $5 billion each over the next three years to build complete townships at unspecified locations in India, company sources said.

The 50:50 joint venture would capitalise on India's real estate boom to build the townships across 40,000 acres of land.

Reports said, New Delhi-based DLF and UAE's leading real estate developer Nakheel have already acquired about 70 per cent of the land needed to set up the townships, which will include commercial and residential centers.

In January, DLF said it had filed a new and downsized initial share sale offer with the market regulator almost six months after investors balked at its plan to raise $3 billion for its ambitious expansion plans.

DLF said it planned to raise $2.2 billion via an IPO in 2007, down from the $2.98 billion of shares it proposed to sell in August 2006. This was withdrawn after major investment banks said the company's plans were unrealistic.

The Hindujas are also investing millions of dollars in the UAE for property development business there. "The company has already bought land in the Waterfront Project of Al Nakheel," Hinduja group chairman Ashok P. Hinduja said.

The Hinduja group has also announced plans to enter into a healthcare joint venture with Limitless, a subsidiary of Dubai World. Both companies will invest $1 billion over the next three years for medical facilities in key cities like Delhi and Mumbai.

In the past few months, DLF has signed agreements with several companies for joint ventures to tap India's growing market. The company's joint venture partners include Prudential Financial, Hilton Hotels and UK-based infrastructure major Laing O'Rourke.

send this article to a friendThe DLF-Al Nakheel deal is part of a series of agreements inked between the governments of India and the UAE during a visit by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashed al-Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of UAE and ruler of Dubai.

UAE is home to an estimated 1.4 million Indians.

Jai Apr 8, 2007 10:04 PM

Now, global sport on city turf?

07 Apr, HT
Sanjeev Shivadekar

THE STATE government has taken a crucial baby step to host international sporting events in Mumbai.

Having lost the opportunity to hold numerous international events due to the lack of state-of-the-art indoor stadiums in Mumbai, the government has now decided to construct two multi-purpose stadiums — one in Andheri, the other in Dharavi – at a cost of Rs 4 crore each.

The state has already acquired a 2.7-acre plot in Andheri and a 3.25acre plot in Dharavi — each approximately one-fourth the size of Shivaji Park.

“The administration is waiting for a no-objection certificate from the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority as the plot selected for the construction of the Sports complexes falls under its jurisdiction,” said Deputy Director (Sports, Mumbai Division) N. B. Mote.

Welcoming the decision, former Indian hockey captain Dhanraj Pillay said it would add to the city’s international status.

Without pinpointing a sport, Pillay said: “All sports should be treated equally and adequate infrastruc ture should be made available for every sport.” Besides the two stadiums, the state government has written a letter to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, requesting the civic body to provide land to build sports complex es across the city .

“There is a proposal to build 24 sports complexes — one in every administrative ward. This will give a big boost to sports activities in Mumbai,” Mote said.

Jai Apr 8, 2007 10:05 PM


Raj Grandeur, Powai[/QUOTE]


NG Royal Heights, Andheri


Sumer Trinity, Prabhadevi


Ariisto Heaven, Mulund


Here's a poor quality pic showing the layout of RNA @ Central Park, Chembur


Jai Apr 9, 2007 3:01 PM

More and more, builders are getting bolder and more interesting in their designs. Especially the medium-sized developers. Check out these proposals, courtesy one of my friends from Mumbai who subscribes to MPE.


Project at Goregaon West, 40 stories:


Project at Wadala, 42 stories:


Project at Worli, 30 stories:


Project at Goregaon (West), 50 stories:


Obviously these are prerenderings, and the designs aren't fully developed, but what is quite clear, is that each of these buildings is very unique. I like this trend. :)


pramodusnair Apr 9, 2007 3:37 PM

I have only one word to say--mindblowing
Thanks for the pics, Jai.

Jai Apr 13, 2007 10:06 PM

Mumbai tops must-see list
Mumbai tops must-see list

TODAY's Peter Greenberg reports from the city formerly known as Bombay

By Peter Greenberg
TODAY Travel Editor
Updated: 12:24 p.m. PT April 12, 2007

Peter Greenberg
TODAY Travel Editor

Here’s the bad news: The drive from the airport into Mumbai, India can sometimes take three hours. And, once there, the traffic get worse.

Now the good news: You still need to go there, and the sooner the better. The country is experiencing near double-digit economic growth. And expansion and construction sites are virtually everywhere. It has an amazing train system.
The Crawford Market is Mumbai's oldest and one of the most popular.

More and more airlines are flying there. More hotels and resorts are being built. Beach areas are being developed.

Welcome to India, on the top of my list of must-experience, affordable and accessible destinations.

Ever hear of Jet Airways? Kingfisher? Both are relatively new airlines offering great affordable service to and within India.

How about hotel rooms for $75 a night on the beach? And then there’s connectivity. India is now a wired nation — and a wireless one. Each month, more than seven million new cellphone numbers are issued. That’s right, seven million.

Of course, there’s the infrastructure — the sheer size of the country can be daunting, especially the condition of the roads. But no problem — smart travelers pack light and take the train. And for longer journeys, the plane.

And the plane offers some surprises. Recently I took a flight on Jet Airways (it has more than 300 flights daily to 44 destinations in India and Europe) between Delhi and Mumbai, a flight lasting barely more than 90 minutes. It was a 737, densely packed with passengers. And then, the meal service: linen tablecloths and a three-course meal on china. In coach!
Boats sail during international boat show in Mumbai

That was my introduction to Mumbai, formerly Bombay.

Mumbai has a fascinating history. The Portuguese gave it away in the 17th century. The British inherited it and leased it out for just 10 pounds a year to a private firm, the East India Company. And that company transformed Bombay into the trading headquarters for the west coast of the country.

And it’s been that way ever since.

Service in India is intoxicating. You will be spoiled to the point of not being happy anywhere else in the world. There is no language problem. If you want it, it will be provided — from great shopping to every kind of food (at the Taj Mahal Palace hotel in Mumbai, my recommendation is Wasabi, a world class sushi restaurant).

In a three-day trip, I hit the Chor and Zaveri bazaars (no reason NOT to do your Christmas shopping early). The Chor (“thieves market” is a wild circus of shops, mosques, temples, narrow streets and very cool stuff: antiques, clocks, brass lamps, and furniture. (Tip: Don’t go on Fridays. Most of the bazaar is closed). Looking for bling? Zaveria bazaar is loaded with gold, silver and jewelry workshops.

Perhaps the most surprising development in Indian tourism is that the country has quietly (and now proactively) become one of a number of countries (including Argentina and Thailand) actively promoting itself as a dedicated destination for medical tourism. Surgery ranging from hip replacements and heart surgery to kidney transplants offered in state of the art hospitals, with a pre- or post-operative vacation thrown in — for one third to one fourth the cost of the operation back in the United States.

And the numbers keep growing. As well as the tourists. And where are the travelers coming from? The number of American visitors is slowly growing. But the real tourism push is regional. Consider this: Two years ago, the number of weekly flights between China and India was eight. Today, there are more than 58!

Remember, that’s just regional tourism. Now, imagine what those flight connections will be like 18 months from now.

And a modified government open-skies policy is making more and more flights from the U.S. —and routes — possible. In the U.S. Continental, American and Delta each fly nonstops to India. And more flights are being planned.

Bottom line: If you can live with the traffic — and yes, it is a challenge — India is worth a visit now. Again, take trains and planes and see a country that is at a delicate, threshold moment of travel and tourism— where service and attitude have not yet been destroyed by further development.

Peter Greenberg is TODAY's travel editor. His column appears weekly on Visit his Web site at

Jai Apr 14, 2007 3:36 AM


Originally Posted by pramodusnair (Post 2753611)
I have only one word to say--mindblowing
Thanks for the pics, Jai.

No prob man :) Thanks for the reply -- it was feeling mightly lonely in this thread! :)

Some recent pics showing u/c skyscrapers clustering around the Tardeo area:

(Ignore the Michael Chiklis looking guy) ;)

And the best pic of them all (since its the most recent -- only 2 days old!):

Jai Apr 18, 2007 4:57 AM

Mumbai's skyscrapers add to civic woes
Anjali Doshi
Wednesday, February 7, 2007 (Mumbai):

Promoted by Vikas Kasliwal of Shree Ram Mills, Palais Royale is all set to be one of Mumbai's tallest and most luxurious skyscrapers.

The 700-feet high building, to be ready in 2009, boasts of indoor heated swimming pools, ample parking space and world-class fire safety norms.[/QUOTE]
Here is the link to the video report of this story. It has a quick peek at both the construction site (construction seems to be underway) as well as a quck pan on the elevation.

It took some time to splice the screencaps together. I think it is in correct proportion.

Vikas Kasliwal of Shree Ram Mills also said this in the video report:

"It doesn't have too many stories, but since each storey has a very good height we've gone to very good heights. It will probably end up being a fairly tall building. We're not aiming to be the tallest building, but I think we may just end up being one of the tallest."
The newsreader also said:

But the title city's tallest is hotly contested. In the next two years three projects will vie for that honor.
However, they forgot to mention Oberoi Skyz in the contest, which isn't surprising, seeing as Oberoi Construction seems to be trying to draw as little attention to it as possible.

I can't find the builder, architect or promoter's website. Seeing as this is going to be an 'invitation only' project, just like also u/c Oberoi Skyz, and Reliance Tower, we're probably not going to see any good quality renderings outside brief newsclips until its nearly finished. :(


Jai Apr 18, 2007 5:30 AM

Corporate head honchos, industrial bigwigs race to build paradise buildings

This is a very informative article. Main points:

Reliance Tower, Altamount Rd.
• Looks like the 42 storey Ambani building u/c iat Altamount Rd is to called "Antilla Residence"
• According to this article, it's built with some Singapore-based developer. A previous news article said the building was designed by a Singapore-based architect as well.
• This article also states it will be 245m(!) in height, one of the tallest u/c buildings in Mumbai.
• Here are some images of this building, I took from the older NDTV video: have any ideas on the Singapore developer and architect?

K Raheja's Chattan, Altamount Rd.
• Once again we read another reference to this u/c building, 'Chattan', but we still don't have any word on the project from their website or an official rendering!
• This building was posted on a property website as "Raheja One Altamount Road." Is this Chattan?:
Corporate head honchos, industrial bigwigs race to build paradise buildings

Posted online: Wednesday, April 18, 2007 at 0000 hours IST

MUMBAI, APR 17 : Developing high-end buildings for private use is fast catching up among industrialists. Reliance Industries CMD Mukesh Ambani, Videocon Industries chairman Venugopal Dhoot, JSW Steel's Sajjan Jindal, Kasliwal brothers, Nitin and Vikas of S Kumars are some among a long list of corporate honchos who are moving to their dream residences. Mukesh Ambani and his family will shift from their Sea Wind reidence in Cuffe Parade to Antilia Residence in Altamount Road by November 2008. Antilia Residence is a typical high-end building. It will have six floors of parking space, four floors of gardens, an entertainment floor, two floors of apartments for guests and has seven lifts. Construction is in full swing and is scheduled to be completed by November 2008. Mukesh Ambani has tied up with Leighton Asia, a Singapore-based developer for building Antilia Residence for a whopping Rs 400 crore.

Dhoot has already initiated work for the development of a 12-storeyed high-end residential building for private use at Mahalakshmi in North Central Mumbai. Spread over 2 lakh sq ft of space, the building will have two to three floors for parking, two residential floors, one floor each for a ballroom, an entertainment zone and a fitness centre.

According to Dhoot, “Consultants and developers from Dubai have approached us for our expertise in architecture and development. Since we own the land in Mahalaxmi, we would be investing Rs 100 to Rs 200 crore in development. Our new residential building would be based on the similar lines of Antilia Residence, a 245-metre residential building being developed by Mukesh Ambani at Altamount Road.”

Pranay Vakil, chairman, Knight Frank India, residing at Olympus, a building opposite Antilia Residence said, “The prices of the existing residential buildings is between Rs 25,000 and Rs 35,000 per sq ft. Now that Altamount Road and Carmichael Road are considered the most expensive areas in India, the new buildings will bear a price of Rs 50,000 per sq ft.” For example, K Raheja Universal’s residential project, Chattan, which is currently under construction on Altamount Road will command a similar price. Although a stretch of Carmichael Road, Peddar Road and Altamount Road house big estates belonging to the likes of Birlas, Mafatlals and Dahanukars, corporate leaders are shifting base to the sprawling Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC). Sajjan Jindal of JSW Steel proposes to investment Rs 300 crore to Rs 500 crore for the development of a high-end building at BKC.

The Kasliwal brothers have also launched an initiative to construct an apartment complex for private use at Lower Parel.

Raj Kumar, head, residential projects, TrammelCrow Megharaj, indicated that more and more corporate leaders are to join the bandwagon. According to him, the new trend is to catch on all over the country.

An observation: according to the renderings shown on NDTV of Reliance Tower/Antilla Residence, its to be approx 42 stories and 245 meters tall: a whopping ~6 meters / storey. Hence the building will look a helluva lot taller than an average 42 storey building when it is built. Seeing as the average building in India has 3.5m/floor, this 245m tall building will be the equivalent of a "normal" 70 storey building!

To put i perspective, The Imperial twin towers u/c, the tallest building in Mumbai in terms of highest number livable floors (65) is to be 252m each; the Reliance tower will be only 6m shorter!)

This increasing of storey height is seemingly a new trend in Mumabi. An example is Lodha Bellissimo. Thought 'only' 50 storeys, since the height of each storey is significantly larger than The Imperial's, the roof height (though not highest number-storey height) is taller than Imperial.

Another example is Palais Royale planned by the Vikas Kasliwal of Shree Ram Mills posted above. This 700ft/213m building, because it has a higher floor height, only boasts ~ 50 stories as well.

Can anyone find this article on Financial Expresses epaper? You can use this free login ID/pass to try. I'm having no luck. :( There might be a picture that shows a rendering or something...


Jai Apr 23, 2007 3:16 AM

Mukesh's new home is a Rs 400-cr hanging garden
Another article. More points:
• Glad to see my estimation of the height (42 stories) was about right. Judging by how builders count floors, the 42 stories may not count the podium, and hence may be a bit taller
• It will be a green building, literally as well, with greenery going all the way up to the 40th floor
• The top four floors are to be the Ambanis'. The rest will be residential
• The architect is US-based Perkins & Will. Armed with this new information, I've done some more digging. It seems Perkins and Will won a Distinguished Building Award 2006, an award "to recognize significant achievements in the planning, design and execution of recent building projects", for their design of the Reliance Group Headquarters Building in mumbai:
• I still can't find a damned better rendering of the Ambani tower.>(


Mukesh's new home is a Rs 400-cr hanging garden



NEW DELHI/MUMBAI: You may have only heard about ‘the Hanging Gardens of Babylon’; but you can actually see the new ‘Hanging Garden of Mumbai’ under construction, and at a blistering pace at that. We are talking about the future residence of Reliance group chairman Mukesh Ambani on South Mumbai’s Tony Altamount Road.

Mr Ambani is expected to shift to his new residence by the end of 2008, when the 40-storey building would be completed. “The construction work is on at full pace, two floors are being added every 10-12 days,” a source close to the development told ET. The project cost is estimated at around Rs 400 crore.

Even as the building plans have been kept under wraps, sources say that the Ambanis’ new residence will have little less than 1 lakh square feet of built-up area (the cost of one square floor of space on Altamount Road is stated to be around Rs 18,000-20,000 per sq foot) with facilities comparable to any five-star hotel.

The building will be green, literally so. The tower, when completed, will look like a vertical garden with creepers going all the way to the 40th floor reflecting Mr Ambani’s love for greenery. The top four floors are designated as the core family residence with there will be health club and swimming pool in the intervening floors.

The bottom six floors will be dedicated to parking. Similarly, separate floors are being planned for the kitchen, laundry and other services, sources said. The entire building will be covered by a Wi-Fi system. For rest and recreation, it will have a mini-auditorium where the Ambanis can watch movies along with friends. The tall building will have both indoor and outdoor swimming pools besides a gym, a library (study) and other facilities.

In every aspect, bar one, it will be a dream house for Mr Ambani. His dream of having a helipad on top of the building may not come true. The government is unlikely to give permission, sources said. While, the US-based Perkins & Wills is the architect, the building project is said to be executed by a Singapore-based firm which has been involved in Reliance’s various construction works.

Jai Apr 23, 2007 3:17 AM

Dharavi makeover now a model for the world

Kavitha Iyer

Mumbai, April 20: THAT global eyes and camera lenses are focusing on Dharavi is not new—from The Chicago Tribune to BBC News, everybody has been visiting. Still, if there remained any doubt about the intense world interest in Dharavi’s future, these can now be put to rest. The May 2007 issue of National Geographic has put Dharavi on the cover, in a feature titled “India’s Shadow City”.

Reporting on the poor living in “some of India’s hottest real estate”, National Geographic writer Mark Jacobson and photo-journalist Jonas Bendiksen tell an evocative story of the lakhs residing in “the most diverse of slums, arguably the most diverse neighbourhood in Mumbai, India’s most diverse city”.

The article chronicles the slum’s quirky people and their impossible fantasies, their politics and their festivities. It also recounts some continuing, defiant opposition to the redevelopment plan to rehouse 57,000 families in 225-sq-foot homes, to be built by investing real estate developers.

Meanwhile, the project management consultant Mukesh Mehta is in New York, attending the mid-year meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative, where he’s sharing experiences with global icons from fields including poverty alleviation and housing. “This is only the beginning,” he said, speaking to Newsline from the Lincoln Center, NY.

“I’m fascinated by the idea that we can make this model work elsewhere. I think India could just be a torchbearer for slum rehabilitation the world over.”
Already, he says, propelled by the keen interest Dharavi has generated, other Indian states’ administrators have invited him, proposing to embrace the same strategy for their big cities.

Just after making plans to meet the Nat Geo team for lunch, perhaps in Brooklyn where one of them lives, Mehta—described in the feature as an urban planner and architect, who returned to Mumbai after years of building top-end mansions in the US, and also somebody with the “fanciful” idea of golf courses and a stadium in Dharavi—says the potential to replicate the Dharavi model is “vast”. Clearly, the interest is not just in a big real estate killing—Asian planners faced with slums and urban housing challenges are looking at what could become a model.

Back in Mumbai, the expressions of interest documents will be released in weeks, officials promise.

Meanwhile, the rising Worli skyline. Check out the progress on Beaumonde!!

by mailophobia @ webshots:


Jai Apr 24, 2007 6:27 AM

Some new projects

Mantri Group Project, Bhandup, Mumbai


Project by Kalpataru Construction, Kandivali, Mumbai

Located in Kandivali, Mumbai, this 484 unit development epitomises garden living. Built over two phases, the two-bedroom and 2 + 1 bedroom apartments are nestled in lush, green surroundings. The landscaping of this project is extremely extravagent – the club house and external landscaping is seamlessly integrated – cascading infinity pools seem to flow into the clubhouse, blurring the lines between internal and external space. Shaded walkways meander around the development enveloping it in a tropical oasis.

Aimed at the growing middle-class albeit offering qualities and amenities consistent with up-market residential projects in other cosmopolitan cities internationally. Upon entry into the development, the visitor steps into a huge reception area, reminiscent of a grand hotel. Amenities include concierge service and reading rooms akin to a country club.

The apartments themselves are generously proportioned and well ventilated offering garden-in-the-sky balconies – stunning, unobstructed views abound. All design and space planning is sensitive to the Indian principles of Vastu, an old Indian science of architecture.

Designed by Ong & Ong Architects, Singapore. Completion 2008.


I'd posted some renderings, but here are some more, with full info

Project by Kalpataru Construction/Tata Power, Thane:

This master planning and design project, in Thane, Mumbai is set in picturesque surroundings, adjoining a national park.

The development consists of two tower blocks housing 132 apartments units, 25 landed homes and 800 m2 of retail space on a total site of 26,269m2. The focal point in this project is a landscaped band of water features cascading down the naturally differing levels of the terrain.

Designed by Ong & Ong Architects, Singapore. Completion 2007.


Jai Apr 26, 2007 7:37 AM

Someting waaaaaay overdue. Good on 'em.

Construction a drain on resources

DNA Epaper 24 Apr

MTDC to convert area into tourist district, Heritage Society to restore the 11 temples

Smita Deshmukh

The 12th century Banganga Tank in Walkeshwar, one of leading listed monuments under the state archaeology department is up for restoration. While the state archaeology department would get Rs2.5 crore from the Centre to conserve the historic tank, different agencies are pitching in for the total overhaul of the precinct in a rare show of partnership. The Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) is working to convert the precinct a tourist district, Indian Heritage Society planning to restore the 11 temples spread around the tank and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) undertaking the roads and drainage work.

“Restoration of the ghat will begin soon, which would involve the strengthening of the basalt rock. We have cleared the rectangular tank of all water and the clean-up would begin soon,” informed Bhushan Gagrani, secretary, cultural affairs. Also holding the dual charge as managing director, MTDC, Gagrani is eager to convert the precinct into a tourist district. “We want it on the tourist map of Mumbai. In fact, we are seeking to acquire a small plot in the precinct belonging to the BMC, which would be converted into a resource centre,” added Gagrani.

With the 13 temples in the precinct are owned by the private trusts, the toughest job belongs to the Indian Heritage Society (IHS), which is overlooking its restoration. “After we restored the Rameshwar temple the response has been positive from the trusts as well as individual donors. We will soon start work on the Ganesh temple,” explained Anita Garware, chairperson, IHS.

The unique aspect of Banganga is that it is pre-British era, pointed out Garware. “Unfortunately, only the Gothic architecture in Mumbai is talked about and conserved. But dynasties like Silhara, Yadav too made an imprint on the city and I’m glad we are restoring one such Silhara monument,” she added.

The BMC, on the other hand, has undertaken the task of repairs of the parikrama road, which would be strengthened by using interlocking tiles.

Drains and other underground utilities would be checked along with illegal structures, which have mushroomed along the monument.

“The cleanliness of the tank is a huge responsibility as the littering along barbers working along the tank throwing shaved off hair in the water. We would also build public toilet,” informed R A Rajeev, additional municipal commissioner (city).

Jai Apr 26, 2007 7:44 AM

Hanging sealink seeks Centre aid

DNA Epaper 22 Apr

Work on the Worli-Nariman Point link may start next year
Rajshri Mehta

If everything goes well, construction of the 15-km north-south bridge from Worli to Nariman Point may start by next year.

In a bid to give impetus to what is now known Western Freeway Sea Link, the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) recently requested the Centre to sanction up to Rs 1,100 crore to make Rs 3,700-crore project economically viable.

The corporation has asked the two shortlisted bidders – Anil Ambani’s Reliance Energy which has teamed up with South Korean company Hyundai consortium, and Malaysian firm Gamuda – to submit their bids. The bidders have already submitted the design parameters. MSRDC hopes to scrunitise their bids and select one in the next few months.

Interestingly, the much-delayed project – an extension to the ongoing BWSL – was expect ed to begin last year. But it got delayed as MSRDC got environment clearance late from the Centre and it had not finalised the route.

There was a plan to construct a flyover connecting Peddar Road to the Worli bridge, but now it is proposed to be constructed separately If the Centre gives assistance to only .

20 per cent (in this case about Rs 700 crore) of the project cost, this will be the highest amount sought for an infrastructure project to be constructed on Build-Operate-Transfer basis. Unlike the proposed Nhava Sewa to Sewree link, the Worli to Nariman Point link will be the only sea bridge where Centre’s assistance has been sought. The third 4-km sea bridge between Bandra and Worli is being constructed on contract.

Viability Gap Funding (VGF) is the financial support provided by the Centre to infrastructure projects when the bid amount quoted by private parties fall short of the project cost. MSRDC has sought VGF under the public-private partnership scheme of the Centre and the Jawaharlal National Urban Renewal Mission for infrastructure projects.

A senior MSRDC officer said: “The lack of financial viability usually arises due to our inability to increase user charges (toll) to commercial levels and the long gestation period for private companies to recover the construction cost which are usually high for infrastructure projects.” In the Western Freeway link, which would be constructed with private participation, the successful bidder can levy toll for 35 years after he constructs the bridge in 5 years. The alignment runs over major bridges keeping the shoreline at about 150 m from Worli Hill and thereafter across the bay up to Nariman Point. The proposed project starts from the take-off point at Worli end of BWSL at Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan Road and finally connects to the Netaji Subhash Bose Road near NCPA.

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