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Hiranandani Powai Residents to Move Court Against Mall Plan

MUMBAI: Residents of Powai’s Hiranandani Gardens met on Sunday morning and decided to move court against the mall proposed in place of Citi Park, a two-storey commercial building. Canadian realtor Brookfield Properties, which has bought the commercial spaces of the largely residential complex, plans to construct a 400% larger commercial complex to house retail, office spaces, eateries and an entertainment zone, including multiplexes.

On Sunday morning, concerned residents, more than 150 of them, met to discuss the “destruction and rebuilding of Citi Park at Eden Square”. From speaking of why they bought a flat in the complex to how changes took place over the years to the massive deterioration of peace and quiet in recent years, residents said they needed to come together and set up an official forum to ensure their neighbourhood does not see any further degradation in terms of green cover, peace and traffic. 

“Citi Park was built when FSI was 1. This means that there is going to be a 400% increase in construction. I have decided to move court to stop construction of the mall,” said activist and local resident Debi Goenka. The plan is for an 18-storey, almost 80 metre, tower. RSS member and author Ratan Sharda said, “The mall already has clearance from the National Green Tribunal, but the BMC’s nod is pending, which may come soon. We will face a difficult time if this is not stopped. There will be no space to walk on the footpaths as Brookfield is already controlling them.”

A Brookfield spokesperson said the company has increased the green cover of Powai by 5% since its acquisition of the Powai assets in 2017-18 and has also invested in public realms such as parks. When TOI visited City Park, it found most retail stores shut. A financial institution that has filed for bankruptcy occupies the upper floor. Old time resident Rajan Khanna said the stretch from one end of the complex to the other end going towards Adi Shankaracharya Marg would be able to hold 150 vehicles if lined up.

He wondered how thousands of vehicles would be accommodated if the mall, which has sought parking permission for 1,027 cars, would come up. “Will you be able to drive and take your kids to school in time? Will you be able to make it to the hospital in time? Will a fire engine be able to enter the complex and cater to an emergency quickly? The pollution, the traffic, the congestion and the construction work are going to change the complex forever,” Goenka said.

Another resident, Manoj Jalan, said, “Solution is to stay together, work with local political leaders and tell them that if they need votes and donations, they need to listen to the demands of residents.”

Source: Times of India