143-yr-old Sassoon Docks, Mumbai’s oldest, to be revamped; work to start by mid-October
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143-yr-old Sassoon Docks, Mumbai’s oldest, to be revamped; work to start by mid-October

After the revamp, Sassoon Docks will have air-conditioned fish markets and auction halls; additional space for trawlers to unload the catch of the day using mechanised tools; cafes, restaurants and an amphitheatre.

mumbai Updated: Oct 05, 2018 08:44 IST
Swapnil Rawal
Swapnil Rawal
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
sassoon docks,sassoon docks to be revamped,mumbai
Mumbai’s Sassoon Docks was built in 1875 by David Sassoon & Co. (Kunal Patil / HT File )

The much-awaited revamp of Sassoon Docks was approved by the state cabinet on Wednesday and is expected to start by mid-October. Opened in 1875, the historic wharf is Mumbai’s first commercial wet dock and one of the oldest docks in the city. The revamp, which has been on the cards since 2007-8, is expected to take three years and the projected cost is Rs 96.92 crore.

“The project was approved in 2014, but since then the schedule of rate kept revising. The earlier detailed project report (DPR) did not lead to complete renovation as per the aspirations of the people of Mumbai and fishermen community. Many components got added,” said Anoop Kumar, principal secretary of the animal husbandry, dairy development and fisheries departments.

The project will be executed by Maharashtra Fisheries Development Corporation and Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT). Sanjay Bhatia, chairman of MbPT, said, “We will subsequently integrate our plans with the revamp of the Sassoon Dock.” The MbPT has planned a second Marine Drive on the eastern waterfront of the city with commercial buildings, restaurants, cafes and parks.

According to officials from the fisheries department, the cost of Sassoon Docks’ renovation has gone up from Rs 52.17 crore to Rs 96.92, and will be shared by the state government and the Centre under the Sagarmala project. “Instead of using seawater, which was in the earlier plan, now we are using freshwater from the civic body. We will need an underground water tank, sewage and effulgent treatment plants. The capacity of the ice manufacturing plant has been increased from 200 metric tonnes to 500 metric tonnes so that it would suffice the need of the wharf,” said an official.

After the revamp, the six-hectare complex of Sassoon Docks will have air-conditioned fish markets and auction halls; additional space for trawlers to unload the catch of the day using mechanised tools; cafes, restaurants and an amphitheatre.

Named after the prominent textile and opium trader and Jewish community leader David Sassoon, the docks were bought by the government, from Sassoon’s son, on behalf of Bombay Port Trust in 1879. Sassoon Docks is today one of the largest wholesale fish markets in Mumbai. An estimated 150,000 people – many of them Kolis, believed to be the oldest residents of the original island of Mumbai – make their livelihood at the docks and its daily turnover is in the range of Rs 2 crore.

“This revamp will help around 10,000 fisherfolk who work at the docks. We expect the output to go up to 48 metric tonnes with the use of modern technology and tools,” said state fisheries minister Mahadev Jankar.

Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and Union shipping minister Nitin Gadkari are expected to inaugurate the revamp of Sassoon Docks in mid-October.

First Published: Oct 04, 2018 12:50 IST