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Mumbai Mirror

Mumbai, Sep 13: Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) chief Jairaj Phatak on Wednesday September 12, reiterated that the civic body wants to redevelop Crawford market as opposed to giving the job to a private developer.

“Our plan is to use part of the additional commercial space created by the redevelopment to accommodate people affected by various development projects across the city,” he said.

“The civic body wants to develop the Grade I heritage structure in such a way as to ensure the commercial complex also becomes a tourist attraction,” said additional commissioner Kishor Gajbhiye who was in the House on Tuesday intending to oppose any proposal to get the property redeveloped by a private party.

“Anticipating a debate, I had come prepared with a statement explaining how the administration plans to redevelop the property. The BMC plans to redevelop the heritage structure without changing its aesthetic look and turn it into an attraction for tourists. Despite my best efforts, I was not allowed to speak by the mayor,” Gajbhiye said.

However, the civic body has not given up hope.

Phatak said the proposal can still be scuttled. “There are so many formalities, including getting the nod of the heritage committee. If the heritage committee objects, as civic chief, I cannot overrule it. Besides this, the developer has to get clearance from the police as the market is close to the police commission’s office and the environment department in Delhi,” he said.

But the BMC is not taking any chances. Phatak said the civic body is seeking legal opinion on the validity of the proposal as the  notice of motion was made for only reopen the proposal.

Heritage committee chief Sharad Upasani said, “I am not aware of this latest development. Let the proposal come to me and see then I will talk on it.”

An officer in the development plan department said that the redevelopment proposal offers an FSI of 4 though the Grade I heritage structure does not qualify for more than 1.33. He said this may not go down well with the heritage committee.

Hurdles to Redevelopment

  • Clearance from heritage committee
  • Clearance from police (As developer plans to construct 8-storey building opposite commissioner’s office)
  • Clearance from environment department
  • Building proposal department yet to approve plan

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