Thane city set to spend ₹100 crore on makeover
Thane From busy Eastern Express Highway, railway station, flyovers, seven entry and exit points and prominent spots Thane braces for a complete makeover with paintings and colourful illuminations
Thane From busy Eastern Express Highway, railway station, flyovers, seven entry and exit points and prominent spots Thane braces for a complete makeover with paintings and colourful illuminations.
That’s the plan Thane civic chief Abhijeet Bangar has on his mind as he assures to give the city a complete makeover in the next two and a half months, on par with Navi Mumbai.
The beautification project will cost the city ₹100 crore.
Bangar, who was the civic commissioner of Navi Mumbai before he was transferred to Thane, said that along with beautification, he will focus on clearing the debris accumulated from construction of bridges and metro projects and are dumped along the highway. Khataras or abandoned vehicles parked below the flyovers and along service roads will also be removed.
“We have decided to focus on areas with more visibility and footfalls, like the Eastern Express Highway, commercial places, railway stations, junctions and the seven entry and exit points in the city,” Bangar said.
His plan includes roping in local artists to paint the walls. Curb stones, side shoulders, dividers and the greenery between the dividers will be repaired and repainted wherever needed.
“Like we did in Navi Mumbai, the bridges, subways, lakes and under-passes will be illuminated with lights, while murals will be installed at the entry and exit points so people who visit the city have a good view,” the chief added.
The ₹100-crore projected will be funded by state government’s urban development department.
A 25-meter-tall structure of ‘pillar of lights’ is being constructed on either side of the Anandnagar toll plaza, an entry point to city from Mumbai.
Bangar claimed that in the next 20 days the EEH beautification will be completed, while the entire city will be beautified mid-January.
“Apart from the EEH, the main highways and roads in the city will also be beautified in similar manner. Another aspect of beautification is to remove things which de-face the city. The highways have construction debris dumped at many places due to several on-going projects, these debris will be cleared while the abandoned vehicles will also be towed away. A special drive for the same will be conducted,” Bangar added.
Some walls will also be painted with 3D images, while directives have been issued to the garden department to ensure that the garden are maintained on a daily basis.
Beautification should reflect history and heritage of the city, artists
The journey of the city from being called as Sasti to Shree Stanak to Salset and finally Thane is an amalgamation of various culture and traditions over the years.
According to city-based artists and urban designers, any beautification project for the city should bring out the essence rather than mere abstract paintings on the walls. Along with art, beautification also needs to focus on aesthetics of its street furniture, creating obstacle-free footpaths and resident-friendly gardens, lakes and open spaces.
Artists claim that there is an emerging trend in most cities of painting walls without a concept under the tag of beautification.
Shripad Bhalerao, a Thane-based artist and urban designer said, “All major junctions in the city are installed with generic murals without a theme. Thane city’s history dates back to the sixth century and art can be used to depict the evolution of the city across centuries. Instead of painting walls, the civic body can think of infographics and thoughtful art which will highlight the heritage.”
Nitant Hirlekar, a contemporary installation artist, suggests use of technology in art to make it more interactive. “Instead of painting random animals or birds on the wall, the corporation needs to have a proper narrative for beautification and can use technology to create an interactive or 3D form of moving art. In interactive art unlike the 2D paintings, the viewer need not just view it but can also interact and give inputs, this can be used to depict the history of the city. This can be used at spots which has some historical significance. An example of use of technology in art is the poles installed along the Girgaon side of Marine Drive which looks like an animation when you drive by.”