Mumbai's Bhendi Bazaar revamp begins

Mumbai, Oct 11 : The ambitious project to revamp Mumbai's heavily-congested Bhendi Bazaar has begun with a modern transit shopping complex coming up in the area, said officials of a trust behind the move.

The Mufaddal Shopping Arcade would temporarily house 200 of the approximate 1,250 shops to be built, said a spokesperson for Saifee Burhani Upliftment Trust (SBUT).

Constructed in 90 days, it was inaugurated here Thursday night and will serve as a model for change from an unorganised chaotic market place to a well-planned modern shopping plaza.

"Its name is derived from the community head Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin's heir apparent, Syedi Mufaddal Saifuddin, and marks the golden jubilee of the Syedna's accession to the office of Dai al-Multaq," said SBUT spokesman Shaikh Qureish Raghib.

SBUT secretary Shaikh Abdeali Bhanpurawala said the shopping plaza model serves as a preview into actual mega-mission of the redevelopment project in the area.

"Eventually, it will change the outlook of the entire area and uplift the lifestyles of the existing occupants who fall in the 16.50 acre target area," Bhanpurawala said.

The Mufaddal Shopping Arcade has three wide entrances, escalator and three elevators, state-of-the-art interiors and exteriors, eye-catching pavements with landscaping, washrooms and prayer rooms.

The shopping arcade is part of the project which will encompass 3,200 homes, 1,250 businesses and impact the lives of over 20,000 people living in cramped quarters built around 150 years ago.

Visualised by the Syedna, the head of the Dawoodi Bohra community, the SBUT is described as Asia's largest single urban renewal project.

Once considered among the country's best shopping destinations, Bhendi Bazaar is now crumbling, posing a serious hazard to the residents.

"The path-breaking project will create a well-planned residential locality with modern buildings, wide roads, better infrastructure, open spaces and contemporary commercial areas," Raghib said.

--IANS (Posted on 11-10-2013)

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