Mumbai Port Trust releases plan for revamp of eastern waterfront
MbPT releases blueprint to revamp 966ha with parks, themed streets and cafesUpdated: Jan 05, 2019 10:19 IST
If all goes to plan, the city’s derelict and inaccessible port lands will soon be a tourist hub.
After being appointed as the special planning authority (SPA) for beautifying 966.30 hectares along the city’s 28-km eastern waterfront in May, the Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) has recently released a blueprint — called the draft planning proposal. The MbPT area extends from Sassoon Docks to Wadala.
The plan is open to public scrutiny till January 26, 2019.
Some of the major proposals are a 93-hectare park by reclaiming land near Haji Bunder and a 52-hectare central garden abutting it. The trust is also looking at unlocking 25-30 hectares as ‘themed streets’.
According to the plan, some of the themes are Bollywood, Maharashtra, yoga, reading and food. The Bollywood street, for instance, is expected to host events related to film and music. The reading street will have libraries and reading clubs, the plan stated.
The plan has also proposed public parks, plazas, promenades, walking trails and marinas. The Coal, Tank and Hay Bunder will see MbPT make space for restaurants and cafes.
The trust claimed to have studied the plans of other ports like Baltimore, Barcelona harbour, Battery Park City near New York and London Dockyards to make the plan.
According to the plan, Mumbai attracts six million tourists every year making it the 30th most visited location of the 100 top city destinations in the world.
It further stated that though Mumbai has many tourist attractions, “its eastern waterfront has largely been locked out of the public realm owing to industrial, commercial and port activities.”
MbPT is also planning to tap into fish tourism by streamlining fishing activities at Sassoon Docks, introducing fish tourism and converting the area into a vibrant tourist spot.
The plan also stresses on Mumbai’s long-pending demand for water transport by making way for water taxis, international and domestic cruises and ro-pax (roll on/roll off passengers) services.
Sanjay Bhatia, chairman, MbPT and CEO, SPA said, “MbPT aims to create world-class infrastructure for water transport and sea tourism that will make Mumbai, along with being the financial capital, the country’s hub for sea transport and tourism.”
The plan also includes development of land for housing, commercial activities, healthcare and transport.
Of the 966 hectares, 10% has been reserved for housing, 15% for port operation and another 20% for port allied activities.
Currently, the port lands have slums and activities like ship-breaking being undertaken in them. The lands made Mumbai a centre for trading in the 19th century, but now lie largely inaccessible. The trust has also planned to construct roads to connect these land pockets. Anupama Karanam, a senior planner from MbPT, said, “We are in the process of identifying pockets within MbPT areas to shift these activities though their leases have expired long back. The development of these lands will then be undertaken in a phase-wise manner.” The suggestions/objections filed by citizens will be heard by MbPT and sent to the state government for a final approval.
First Published: Jan 05, 2019 00:26 IST