In an effort to make Bandra Fort and its surrounding areas an attractive tourist destination, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is planning to beautify and develop the fort precinct. This includes beautifying the gardens, constructing a cycling and pedestrian track from the fort till the Worli sea link, illuminating the precinct, renovating the amphitheatre and building a butterfly park. The 2017-18 budget has an allocation of Rs30 crore for the project, which is likely to be undertaken in two phases.
Sharad Ughade, assistant commissioner of the H/West ward (Bandra) said, “In phase I, we are planning to develop the two gardens that are already in municipal possession. The second phase will include projects like the cycling track, for which we will require various no-objection certificates (NOC).”
The BMC will require NOCs from the Maritime board, heritage committee, coastal zone management authority and the archaeological department, officials said. An official from the Bandra ward office said that BMC owns an area of 25,000 square metres, that includes the two gardens, which will be developed over a period of two years. “During that time, we will start applying for NOCs,” the official said.
The corporation is planning to provide the cycling track connectivity from the BJ Road near Taj Land’s End to the Bandra promenade towards the Worli Sea-Link. “We are currently at the conceptual stage. We will be issuing tenders to invite consultants for the project soon,” the official added.
Cycling and pedestrian tracks have been long-pending demands by citizen groups in the city. The BMC had recently initiated a pilot cycling track at Carter road in Bandra, which failed to take off. Asif Zakaria, Bandra corporator from Congress said, “Development of the cycling and pedestrian track at Bandra fort is a long shot, as the BMC will need heritage permissions.”