Mumbai civic body plans to preserve Gilbert Hill, a 61-meter monolith column at Andheri

Updated on Dec 16, 2020 01:09 AM IST
Brihanmumbai Municipal Corportion.
Brihanmumbai Municipal Corportion.
BySagar Pillai, Mumbai

After historians suggested the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to turn Gilbert Hill at Andheri into a tourist spot, while reiterating the potential the Grade 2 structure has, the civic body is now planning to ensure the preservation of the hill, cleaning of the area and putting up boards detailing its history. A heritage walk was organised by a group of historians inviting BMC officials of the K West ward (Andheri) to inform them about the historic significance of the 61-metre monolith column.

Historians shared some factual insights and the historic significance Gilbert Hill has which is known to be more than 66 million years old. The hill is said to be the one among three such monuments in the world and is a rare formation of thousands of hexagonal basalt columns, born of ancient volcanic lava.

“The idea to invite BMC officials and politicians was to make them understand the rich history of this place. There are tons of places in the corners of this city that have historic significance. These places can be turned into tourist spots that could also generate employment and business for the locals there,” said Bharat Gothoskar, a city historian and founder of Khaki tours. The visit was organised under BMC’s ‘Know Your Neighbourhood’ initiative.

Civic officials said that the trust of the famous Gaondevi Temple, located on the top of Gilbert Hill, will be involved in the upkeep of the hill.

Vishwas Mote, assistant municipal commissioner of K West ward, said, “We will ensure public participation and upkeep by involving locals.”

“I discussed with BMC officials to identify similar places that have a historic significance, located in and around Andheri-Juhu area that we could bring up as a model project. I requested the ward officers to prioritise cleaning. We can also focus on putting up boards and signages,” said Shiv Sena’s member of Parliament Priyanka Chaturvedi who also participated in the visit.

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