If all goes as per City and Industrial Development Corporation’s (Cidco) plan, Navi Mumbai will soon get state’s first — a harbour to park boats and yachts — and a waterfront to promote social activity on its coast.
“With its alignment, the Navi Mumbai coast can prove to be a good location for marina and waterfront development. This, in turn, could boost tourism. We are seeking international consultants who will help us prepare a feasibility report for the project,” said a senior CIDCO official, requesting anonymity.
Despite having a 150km coastline, Navi Mumbai has not been able to develop a waterfront similar to Marine Drive, Chowpatty, Haji Ali, Worli Sea Face, Dadar Beach, Bandra Bandstand, Carter Road, Juhu Beach or Versova. “Waterfronts are popular public spaces. Our idea is to develop social and cultural activity at these waterfronts and attract tourists,” the official said.
The development authority also plans to create a marina. “The concept of yachting is picking up in India and the growth seems promising,” he said.
CIDCO has asked consultants to undertake the feasibility study at the nodes of Nerul, Belapur, Ulwe, Kharghar and the area adjacent to the JNPT Port to identify a suitable location for setting up the marina and waterfront.
“We will finalise the consultant by the end of March and give him four months to prepare his report,” the official added.
In the past few years, there has been a rise in the number of boat owners in Mumbai. According to officials, Mumbai can boast of 143 private yachts, the highest in the country. Though top business honchos such as Vijay Mallya and Gautam Singhania own a yacht, in the absence of parking facilities, the boats are parked in the sea.
The jetty at Gateway of India is used for water transport to areas such as Elephanta and Mandwa. However, the jetty is not equipped to handle huge passenger traffic. So far, Kerala is the only state in the country, which has its own marina at Kochi.