Powai 1

My comments on the NG documentary “Transformation of Powai”

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Transformation of Powai, with the creation of Hiranandani Gardens, is something that we cannot deny, its one of the best places to live in Mumbai, with footpaths wider than anything you will ever find in Mumbai, maybe the only exception of Fort area in Sobo. I loved the National Geographic documentary, though it does sound like a promotion campaign for the Hiranandani Builders, one has to applaud the Enterprising spirit of the two brothers, this was a seemingly unachievable job to do.


1) The Sewage treatment plant that treats 80 % of the sewage camouflaged somewhere in one of those gardens, I have lived in Hiranandani Gardens for 14 years in Powai and still don’t know, where the sewage treatment plants are. Somedays there is an incredible stench that used to emanate; I wonder if that has stopped now? It’s so incredible that the gardens are irrigated with sewage treated water and BMC water is not used.

2) It’s true the Hiranandani brothers say that nobody wanted to go and live in Powai, I had met a few early adopters, who say they literally bought houses for a song when they moved to Powai.

3) The barren pictures of Hiranandani look amazing and getting it connected to the mainstream looks incredible feat.

4) There is a lot of praises and some criticism for the Hiranandani Gardens architecture by Hafeez Contractor, and it’s nice to hear how they arrived at the neo-classical style of architecture.

5) The way the top of the buildings of Hiranandani Gardens, which Niranjan describes as cake or topi is one of the most amusing part of the documentary.

6) The double wall design, which in fact increased the floor space is and ingenious idea.

7) Surendra talks about how when building in the 70’s and 80’s there were no proper construction guidelines, and they had to refer to the European and American standards, shows how hard they have worked in building such a world class infrastructure in Powai.

8) The Hiranandani Hospital is a great blessing for people of Powai, but sometimes it gets a lot of flak for being too commercial, I think that lot of efforts is put to make the Hospital best in the world, but Human resources in a big issue.

9) The closing note by Niranjan Hirandani, which says ” We have earned, we have given back to the society” sums it up all in this National Geographic Documentary.

Some Observations

1) It says 4000 families live in Powai (it should have used the word Hiranandani Gardens), The documentary was shot about few years back and only broadcasted now. As per my figure, the number of families in only Hiranandani Gardens, as quoted by newspaper guy is around 12000 to 15000 at the least.

2) How does it assume that Powai is Hiranandani Gardens? Powai is much more than Hiranandani Gardens, the part of IIT Mumbai, the Saki Vihar area near L&T, even the NITIE area is Powai.

3) The camera surveillance and the private commando, which though highly appreciated by the residents of Hirandani Gardens is I feel an alarm that the gated community is not able to maintain the law and order with the regular Mumbai Police services.

4) Pratima Manohar, the urban planner, seems to have been wasted and could have made much more contribution I think.

I would have loved if the documentary would have explored in depth, the pro and cons of living in a gated community vis-a- vis an open community, but maybe that would have added more minutes to it. If gated communities are the future of the upper middle class what kind of infrastructure can the enterprising builders envision for the middle class and the lower middle class, is it that that it is completely unfeasible economically to build good houses for such a class of section in Mumbai at least.

Without further ado, go and watch and this superb documentary on Powai, but mostly it is Hiranandani Gardens.

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