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Mumbai milestones will soon go digital to guide you on their British-era story

The eight discovered milestones will have QR code.

mumbai Updated: Apr 09, 2018 11:47 IST
Tanushree Venkatraman
Tanushree Venkatraman
Hindustan Times
A milestones near Chitra Cinema, Dadar in Mumbai.(Kunal Patil/HT Photo)

In the first half of the 19th-century, milestones were placed across the city to show their distance from the ‘Zero Point’, which is St Thomas Cathedral in south Mumbai. It is said that each of the 16 milestones was at least three-foot-tall so horse-drawn carriages could easily locate them.

Cut to the 21st century, these milestones are going to be digitally-linked to showcase their locations and history.

Mumbai is said to have 16 milestones, of which eight have been discovered.

To begin with, a seven-foot art installation similar to the milestones will be placed behind St Thomas Cathedral with a plaque that will have information about all milestones and their locations. This will be QR coded, meaning, if you scan the code with your mobile phone, you will be directed to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) portal with information on the British-era Grade-1 structures.

The digital plan will be later replicated for all milestones.

Rahul Chemburkar, conservation architect and partner of Vaastuvidhaan Projects, said, “When the information is on a plaque, it is limited. The digital switch can make information multi-faceted and it can also be updated time to time.” Chemburkar has been appointed by the BMC to undertake the restoration of these milestones.

Each of the milestones will have a stainless steel plate in the paving with their name, QR code, information and history. To give a yesteryear effect, it will also have cobbled stones around it.

What’s more? Tourists and Mumbaiites will also be given a chance to share their experiences on the page.

By doing this, Chemburkar said that they are also looking at creating an identity for these distance markers.

The milestones came into limelight during a demolition drive by the BMC on Dr SS Road in Parel in April 2017. The local ward office discovered a milestone, with ‘V’ inscribed on it. It was half-buried in a footpath. Of the 16 milestones, only eight have been discovered. Some stones were destroyed during road widening or got buried as road levels went up with each new layer of tar.

While undertaking restoration, conservationists will raise the height of the stones, so that their engravings are visible. The structures will be cleaned, repaired and measured to avoid future encroachments.

A fresh survey will also be undertaken to find the missing milestones.

First Published: Apr 09, 2018 10:03 IST