If, on a stroll between Flora fountain and Horniman Circle, you happen to step off the curb and into an impromptu concert or a mobile art exhibition, don’t be surprised. The state government is planning to declare the historial area a ‘culture zone’.
Cultural programmes, art shows, even band nights will be planned for the evenings at south Mumbai’s business district, and vehicles may be prohibited from entering the roads during designated hours.
“This stretch has a rich heritage and is vibrant. We can hold regular cultural festivals along with musical and dance programmes after office hours,” said Mumbai’s city guardian minister Jayant Patil. “Vehicles can be kept out at that time, throwing the space open to pedestrians.”
While the area is usually bustling, if not overcrowded during the day, it lies fairly vacant by late evening when office-goers have gone home, making it an ideal spot for the government’s fledgling plan.
The state has also planned for better footpaths and more pedestrian-friendly roads there, with some uniform street furniture in a bid to enhance the zone’s practical and aesthetic appeal.
Patil said the project would be funded through Mumbai district funds and a plan was being chalked out by conservation architect Vikas Dilawari. “I will hold talks with the BMC about the project. Across Europe, there are many such spaces where citizens can just walk around, listen to some musicians or watch artists at work,” he added.
Meanwhile, Patil, who has been given the charge for finalising the location for the Shivaji memorial said he had shortlisted three sites which chief minister Prithviraj Chavan and deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar will visit to make the final choice.