No best bus plies in Mumbai. There are no places of religious worship. No schools or office complexes.
But Altamount Road doesn’t get waterlogged either, not even when the rest of Mumbai is inundated. Nor does it ever have a water or power shortage. For Mumbai’s civic commissioner lives in a bungalow here. As does Ratan Tata. The Birlas and Mafatlals live down the road. And the new tycoon on the block is Mukesh Ambani with his 27-storey mansion, Antilla.
All this in a stretch that is barely a kilometre long and the priciest piece of land in India.
Seamlessly taking over from Carmichael Road, Altamount Road had only two high-rises some 50 years ago — the seven-storeyed Olympus and Girnaar. Not everyone is happy with the Ambani monolith. The Mehtas, Shobhana and Virat, who live in the 2,400 sq ft flat on the seventh floor of Aashiana, complain that their view of Peddar Road is obstructed by the building. The flipside is the flat they bought in 1979 for Rs 550/sq ft is now pegged at Rs 70,000/sq ft.
All of Altamount Road’s residents are not billionaires though. M S Jadhav, who runs a vegetable kiosk right opposite Antilla, has seen the road change over the decades. But as far as he is concerned, the biggest change has been that he now stocks avocados, brightly coloured bell peppers and zucchini alongside the ladyfingers and methi.
Jadhav is going upscale too.
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