TO ease pedestrian movement and traffic towards the Chattrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) railway station, the BMC is planning to widen Hazarimal Somani Road, which connects Fashion Street to the CST station, by 30 feet. It is also planning to construct a pedestrian plaza on one side of the crucial road, that will likely cut into a sizeable portion of popular clubhouse Bombay Gymkhana’s grounds.
Civic officials said that the plan was to ease the movement of passengers who used the road to reach the CST station subway. “We have completed the survey of all the structures on the Hazariman Somani Road and have identified the structures obstructing the widening of the road. We are planning to widen the road by 30 feet and are now in the process of deciding the alignment and other aspects of the plan,” said Kiran Dighavkar, Assistant Commissioner of A ward. He added that more than 5 lakh people used the road on a daily basis.
A ward official said that the BMC was toying with the idea of creating a pedestrian plaza to ease the movement on the road as part of efforts of beautifying the area around the CST station, one of the most iconic heritage structures in the city.
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The official added that the government offices had all consented to the plan. “Barring the heritage bungalow on Bombay Gymkhana grounds, all other structures are temporary structures, like pump rooms or guard sheds, which can be shifted. Tentatively, we are planning to widen the road by 10 feet and utilise the remaining 20 feet to create a pedestrian plaza,” said the official.
According to the current development plan of 1991, the road is supposed to be 24.4 metres wide (80 feet). However, the current dimension is 15.24 metres (50 feet) wide and 681 metres long. Since there are several heritage structures on one side of the road, the side which runs parallel to Azad Maidan, the Bombay Gymkhana grounds and some government offices, including Maharashtra State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Metropolitan Magistrate Court, the state institute for Administrative Careers and the Cannon Pav Bhaji eatery will be widened. The length of the road from Cannon Pav Bhaji to Azad Maidan is 350 metres and the remaining 331-metre stretch runs along the Bombay Gymkhana grounds.