Story in Pictures

Coming soon, a new skyline

The Saifee Burhani Upliftment Project is all set to transform the 100-year-old Bhendi Bazaar area in south Mumbai

Photo by Soumik Kar

The British residents of Crawford Market called it ‘Behind the bazaar’, and that is how Bhendi Bazaar got its name. Today, the area, with a history dating back to over 100 years, is no longer the lively shopping destination it used to be. It is in a dilapidated state, with the buildings suffering structural weaknesses, and the congestion making even walking difficult. About 70% of Bhendi Bazaar’s residents live in chawls less than 300 sq ft in area, and the outdated sanitation and inadequate fire and safety norms have only made matters worse. The Saifee Burhani Upliftment Project, envisioned by the late Dr Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin (RA), seeks to transform these 16.5 acres of land — comprising approximately 250 buildings, 1,250 shops and 3,200 families — into a state-of-the-art sustainable development with new buildings and wide roads, retaining the mosques and religious structures as is. Of the 17 towers planned, 13 will be used to rehabilitate existing tenants, while four will be used for free sale. The project, likely to be completed in eight years, could exceed its estimated ₹4,000-crore cost if government approvals are not granted in time.