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Mumbai to take on a new skin

June 13, 2007

As we know a Mumbai makeover has been on the agenda for some time now. It will cost approximately Rs 332,000 crore. It includes the entire Mumbai Metropolitan Region – including satellite towns like Thane, Navi Mumbai, the Mira-Bhayandar belt, the Vasai-Virar belt and the Kalyan-Dombivli and Ambarnath townships. All infrastructure, including power supply, water supply, drainage and real estate are slated to be improved.

Some of the bigger projects in the offing are the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link connecting Sewri and Nhava, the Mumbai Metro Rail Project, the western expressway sealink, the Bandra Worli sea link which is to be completed by 2008, and the Worli-Nariman Point link. There are also grand plans to make Mumbai a world financial hub as the Bombay Stock Exchange is ranked fifth in the world by the number of trades per year.

Some smaller projects in the pipeline are cleanliness drives, childrens parks, theme gardens, a plaza at the Gateway of India, slum re-development, a Rs 60 crore disaster management system and beautification of areas like the beaches, Haji Ali and ofcourse…Marine Drive.

Ofcourse, there are problems and maybe Mumbai cannot be transformed into Shanghai (the dream of the government)…but yes, we are getting there.

Marine Drive’s beautification is on full swing. We went there the other day and saw some hectic activity. Difficult to walk on the pavements as they are choc-o-bloc with tin sheds and repair material, but hopefully its going to be done soon.

A new bus-stop coming up on Marine Drive.

The photograph below is a distant view of the Bandra Worli sea-link in progress. The skyline is changing rapidly…

With all this feverish activity, Mumbai will soon be transformed, unrecognizable for anyone who visits the city after a decade. However, no one need worry that the city will lose its character and its old world charm. There are plenty of heritage buildings that will protect the city’s unique identity.

The building below is the Western Railway headquarters building, built in 1899. Its one of the country’s heritage sites.

The picture below is of Crawford Market, built in 1871. Its been renamed as Jyotiba Phule Market (no one calls it that!), but originally it was named after the Englishman Arthur Crawford, Bombay’s first Municipal Commissioner. Its been declared a heritage site.

(All photographs are copyrighted)

Related Viewing: A photo-essay of a traffic signal in Mumbai
A slide show of a sunset in Mumbai
An aerial view of Mumbai
A few more Mumbai snapshots plus information on real estate costs in Mumbai
View all posts filed under the category of Photography
View all posts filed under the category of SlideShows
An email forward about the Mumbaikar in a nutshell

6 Comments leave one →
  1. June 13, 2007 6:32 pm

    I have never been to Mumbai. Wants to visit the city pretty soon. πŸ™‚

  2. June 13, 2007 6:50 pm

    You are welcome. πŸ™‚

  3. June 13, 2007 8:37 pm

    Your Marine Drive looks to go on for many miles. I am curious to know if, when the tide goes out there may be a wide tidal flat exposed. Also do you get some big storms which throw up massive waves and spray. The buildings along the other side of the road appear awfully close to the shoreline. Are people able to wade and swim in the ocean along there, or are the waters polluted. I would love to walk along the long length of the beach side!
    The old buildings built under British influence are so wedding-cake over decorated, and such a mish-mash of architectural styles. The strange combination of nearly gothic, nearly romanesque arches under the peaked roof of the Crawford market looks truly weird to me. The British brought some unfortunate architectural plunderings to the design of this building. What a monster! (Just expressing my own strong opinion here) There is some beautiful architecture in India, pre-British, other than the Taj Mahal – too bad those buildings did not influence the British architects and engineers much more profoundly.

  4. June 13, 2007 9:12 pm

    The waters are not that clean but yes, people do swim and wade in the water there. The place to do it is at a place called Girgaum chawpatty where there is a wide expanse of beach. However, not many tourists swim here as they might be worried about the water. People do walk in the water though.
    During the monsoons there are huge waves and continuous spray on the road but the waters have never reached the buildings – not yet, not even close. Not even during the heaviest monsoons. Actually they have fortified most of the marine drive, in the sense that there are some wave breakers there. You can see the black ring around the water. However wherever there is a beach this is not there. At night because of the lights, this stretch of Mumbai is called the Queens necklace. Looks fabulous at night from a high rise.
    I agree with you about the architecture!
    Bombay is a long island, and marine drive (thats the old name given by the British, its got a new name which I forget!) ends at Malabar hill. The part in the photo is not even a quarter of the whole road.
    But almost throughout bombay (rather, mumbai) there is a road by the sea. And smaller beaches. Most of the roads are promenades like marine drive but marine drive is the most famous somehow. The biggest beach is at Marine Drive.
    Why don’t you take a trip to India? I am sure you will love it. πŸ™‚

  5. June 14, 2007 12:48 pm

    well being a mumbaite all i can say is yes infrastructure is not according to what the city deserves …yes there is a lot of government intervention in planning the work as well as stoppage of the work…
    also the fact that the people here are not upto the cadre to handle modern infrastructure really ….look at our local train stations …. people have to improve their civic sense first and then we can expect the city to develop into a real modern city … so the mind changes the matter!!

  6. August 26, 2009 4:09 pm

    Dear All,

    I am interested in finding old aeriel maps of Mumbai, especially around the Colaba, Fariyas Hotel Area for a survey i am doing. If anyone has any idea of where i can acquire such pictures could anyone please email me.

    Thanks a bunch

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