Months after the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) put up the proposal for the widening of Hazarimal Somani Road, aiming to ease pedestrian movement, Mumbai city collector Ashwini Joshi on Thursday forwarded the proposal to the state government for further approvals. This spells bad news for the Bombay Gymkhana as Joshi also conducted a visit of the site Friday to verify the measurements of the land, which includes a portion of Gymkhana, which will eventually be handed over to the BMC.
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The collector has sent the proposal to Manu Kumar Shrivastava, principal secretary of the state revenue department. An source in the collector’s office stated that officials also verified the measurements of the land as per the joint survey they conducted with BMC officials a couple of months ago.
Joshi visited the Bombay Gymkhana premises as well on Friday and inspected the measurements, which were drawn with yellow paint. “We have drawn the demarcations as verification of the measurements to have a visual idea of which structures will fall in the roadline, which will add 30 feet to the road’s width,” said an official from the collector’s office, adding that the Gymkhana CEO’s bungalow also falls within that demarcation. Of the entire land which will be handed over to the BMC, the Gymkhana stands to lose at least 3,000 square metres of its area.
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While the tendering process for the first half of the road has already been completed, the process for the second half is underway. Once the land is handed over, the BMC will have to pay the acquisition cost for the 5,000 square metres of land at a nominal rate of Re 1 per square metre. A civic official stated that the cost of the joint survey, which amounts to Rs 1.82 lakh, was sent to the collector’s office on Friday.
As per the BMC’s proposal, Hazarimal Somani Road, which connects Fashion Street to the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, is set to be widened by 30 feet. The added width, however, will be utilised to broaden the footpath and is likely to include a plaza for pedestrians. The widening proposal is part of the plan for the upgradation of CST, which has been picked as one of the 10 iconic locations in the country by the central government.
Apart from the road widening project, the BMC will set up a viewing gallery in front of the UNESCO heritage building. “We have finalised the design of the viewing gallery and will open the tenders on Saturday,” said Kiran Dighavkar, assistant municipal commissioner of A ward.