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HindustanTimes Wed,22 Oct 2014

Museum celebrating Mumbai’s mill culture awaiting heritage nod

Kunal Purohit, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, August 29, 2013
First Published: 09:09 IST(29/8/2013) | Last Updated: 09:13 IST(29/8/2013)

More than five years after it was proposed, the civic body has submitted plans for a textile museum at Kalachowkie to the Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee (MHCC) for approval.

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The plans include a live, functioning mini-textile mill, a representation of the past chawl life and a museum celebrating the city’s mill legacy.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) also wants to make boutiques and restaurants in the erstwhile textile mill compound.

Sources in the MHCC, who reviewed the proposal on Tuesday, said these facets were facing opposition from members, who said the aesthetic value of the city’s last-surviving mill would then be lost.

“We are concerned with the commercial aspects of the plan. This will not go with the idea of the museum. We do not want to create another Phoenix Mills here,” said a member.

The civic body’s appointed consultant, Abha Narain Lambah, has drawn up the plan’s blueprint, according to which the civic body will construct a textile museum along with a museum to depict the process of industrialisation in the city along restored mill structures, and an amphitheatre to perform that era’s arts and music.

The civic body also wants to restore some structures, while demolishing others.

While the entire area is a heritage precinct, a few structures inside the plot have also been individually listed The plot on which the museum will come up used to host the India United mill number 2 and 3.

However, the plot has been mired in controversy, with the National Textile Corporation initially handing over 61,000 square metres only to demand 17,000 square metres back.

As a result the BMC has made plans only on the 44,000 square metres that not contentious.

The MHCC has asked the consultant to submit a revised plan and is considering visiting the plot before deciding on anything.


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