Bye Mye Mukesh Mills, say Bollywood filmmakers
Posted January 18, 2010on:
// <![CDATA[// // <![CDATA[// // <![CDATA[// For nearly 30 years, Colaba’s Mukesh Mills has been one of the most frequently used locations for feature films and advertisements - its deserted and somewhat dilapidated structures appealing especially to makers of horror flicks.
Now, the film fraternity has a different horror to face: The iconic mills will soon be redeveloped into a high-rise, residential-cum-commercial complex, which will include a five-star hotel.
The mills - spread over 40,000 square metres of prime seafront area – had closed down in 1980, and has been let out for dozens of shoots. However, the owners - TCI Limited - had bigger plans for land, but the redevelopment project had been in the pipeline for years due some legal complications.
In 2006, TCI had filed a writ petition in the Bombay High Court, after the Navy objected to the redevelopment, citing that the land came under the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) where no new construction is allowed. The Defence Department had also said that any new development on the land could be a security hazard for their installations, which are in close proximity to the mills.
On June 15, 2009, however, the High Court passed an order stating that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) can approve the redevelopment proposal without seeking a No Objection Certificate from the Navy. Following this, TCI recently approached the BMC with a redevelopment proposal.
“We have now asked them to submit the detailed redevelopment proposal for the mill plot. We will follow the High Court order. Once we scrutinise the proposal, we will inform the court of our decision,” a senior civic official said.
While construction of the high-rise is imminent, it is yet to be decided how much FSI is to be granted for the project. According to the High Court order, the BMC’s final decision has to be cleared by the court.
“The redevelopment plans will be on the lines of a five-star hotel project on Charni Road. The BMC has recommended an FSI of 5 for the building, which is planned to be one of the tallest structures in the city. But the construction firm has asked for an FSI of 6.29 and the proposal is still pending before the government,” said a civic official.
Sunil Ambre, architect for the redevelopment project, was not available for a comment.
|Mukesh Mills closed down its operations in 1980 and soon became a favourite spot for shooting of feature films and ads|
Recent films shot at the mills
• Raaz - The Mystery Continues: starring Kangna Ranaut, Emraan Hashmi and Adhyayan Suman; produced by Mukesh Bhatt
• Acid Factory: starring Fardeen Khan, Irrfan Khan, Diya Mirza; directed by Suparn Verma
It was a major asset for many film-making aspects in one compound. Moreover, it was extremely easy to operate there. It’s a monumental loss for Bollywood - Film-maker Mahesh Bhatt
I have some memories of the place that I will never forget. It’s widely rumoured it is haunted. I remember there is a Peepal tree on top of a chimney on the premises.
While we were shooting for Ek Khiladi Ek Hasina, Fardeen (Khan) had told the entire crew that he would pay Rs 10,000 to anyone who had the guts to go near it, but no one dared! But hear-say apart, it’s very sad that the place will be brought down; it was a great location - Film-maker Rensil D’Silva