Transformation of Powai from Deserted Land to an Integrated Township


To many of whom question the location constraint of Oragadam, here is an answer how the Hiranandani brothers transformed the suburban landscape of Powai in Mumbai.

Transformation of Powai with Hiranandani:

Buying 250 acres of abandoned quarry lands in Powai, in the late 1980s was absolutely imprudent. But Hiranandani brothers found that the growing Mumbai population needed comfy homes, with all amenities needed. They gave a unique architecture icon for Mumbai with their integrated township. The neo-classical style was adapted for the vertical housing project by Niranjan and Surendar Hiranandani.

The brothers had to sell off their garments business when they had deserted land of 250 acres to be transformed. Though it had been used in Mumbai architecture earlier, it has been the Hiranandani’s who brought it to the vertical housing project. The columns denoted the ancient Greek temples.

Unique designs:

The design is known to offer strength to the structure. It has also a unique icon of the builders. The eyesore of the vertical structures is eliminated. The elements of Indian and British styles have served multiple purposes. They have double walls, which have insulation and air capsules. They mean the inside wall never gets hot or cold, to suit the season. The period of the 1970s and 80s were in shambles in the construction industry, and the builder had to refer international standards to create own guidelines.

Facing the challenges of no water and electricity, and lack of funding, the building was nearing completion in the 1990s. The real challenge was to bring in residents. This remote southern part of the city lacked the charisma. The Hiranandani brothers came up with the idea of creating a quality of life that is nowhere found in Mumbai.

And that happened to be lush gardens. The city of Mumbai never has access to open green space, for it offers only 6% for the same.

More than half the township is devoted to greenery for recreational purposes. Surendar Hiranandani, the engineering mind of this project, found a rare book on the flora of Mumbai. The book threw light on an indigenous variety of flora, and the plants grew in their own nursery.

Across 150 species, 4 lakh saplings are planted by the Hiranandani brothers. They also researched the use of the flora, which also came up with the fact that the greens reduced temperature, and reduced electricity consumption.

Lush green and water:

The concept of healthy life allured people to move to this township. Another challenge cropped up, and it was water. Gardens needed water, the most precious thing in cities like Mumbai, which consumes 3.3 billion water per day. Water recycling up to 80% was how they encountered the challenge. Even as soon as 1989, Hiranandani group viewed sewage as a source of water for the greeneries.

2 million liter water per day is collected and treated and sent back for using, and the rest is used for greeneries. They don’t rely on municipality water. They are the first in the state to use this, as early as 1990. The gardens have now become the house for the birds. Ashish Mathri, a resident of Powai used to travel 50 Km to watch birds. This avid bird watcher now has all the resources in the Hiranandani Gardens.

When industries moved to Powai, the Hiranandani builders offered infrastructure that followed the energy conservation technique. Now, more than 5000 square feet of office space oo the most popular MNCs of the world is operating out of here.

The integrated township also offers healthcare and education amenities to the residents. While Mumbai has 1 bed for 3000 people, Hiranandani offers 1 bed for 200 people.

A multi-specialty hospital catering to needs to all is available for the community. 2 schools with more than 2000 students, functions in the township. The students are bestowed with 3 playgrounds, that are widely spaced.

Hiranandani also caters to the cultural and spiritual needs of the community. The consummate style of Hiranandani Gardens is being copied by industrial rivals, but the quality is never met like the original.

From a deserted picnic spot to the best place to live, Hiranandani Gardens, Powai has completely transformed it like magic, but with determination, brilliance and hard work.

Powai Transformation is decades old. The latest transformation is happening right now in Oragadam. Come be part of this defining moment of a city’s history!

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