The famous hill station of Matheran, about 83 kilometres from Mumbai, is likely to get a facelift soon with the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) having drawn up a multi-crore plan for the popular weekend getaway.
As part of the plan, the unpaved mud road between Dasturi and Matheran will be improved with paver blocks. Tourists have to cross the 5.8-kilometre distance either on foot or using hand carts, with Matheran being strictly a vehicle-free hill station. The MMRDA expects the beautification of the Dasturi-Matheran road to cost roughly Rs 51 crore.
A state government official said that the authority also has plans to set up bio-toilets along the route and street furniture, as recommended by the Matheran Heritage Conservation Committee.
Besides beautifying the pathway to Matheran, the MMRDA will improve four of the most popular tourist destinations in Matheran — the Panorama Point, Heart Point, Myra Point and Echo Point, setting up street furniture, bio toilets and improving the access by putting paver blocks on the mud roads.
While the MMRDA makes improvements within Matheran, it has also decided to make the journey of tourists till Dasturi, the starting point of the trek up to Matheran, better than it currently is.
Of the total plan, the authority has set aside around Rs 27 crore to widen and improve the Neral-Dasturi road. The MMRDA plans to spruce up the 6.7-km road from the outskirts of Neral to Dasturi by laying bitumen on the soil portion on either side of the roads.
An MMRDA official who did not wish to be named said, “We are still in the process of finalising tenders and work is likely to begin later this year.”