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Monday, September 20, 2021

BMC completes standardisation of footpaths in Fort Precinct area

The Fort Precinct is rich in colonial history, art and architecture, and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2018.

Written by Laxman Singh | Mumbai |
Updated: August 18, 2021 9:10:39 am
Mumbai, BMCOfficials from the Heritage Cell of BMC said the work of concrete footpath surface, disabled-friendly ramps, widening of tree basin and concrete benches for seating of citizens have been completed. (Express photo)

Under its ambitious plan to preserve and restore the area in south Mumbai’s Fort Precinct, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has completed a part of its proposal to standardise footpaths in the area.

It has so far completed the standardisation work of footpaths at National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) and behind Mumbai University at Fort.

The Fort Precinct is rich in colonial history, art and architecture, and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2018. The BMC has decided to upgrade urban infrastructure in the area to preserve the character of the locality. The Fort Precinct envisaged putting in place disabled-friendly ramps, concrete surface footpaths having design life of 30 to 40 years, concrete benches, garbage bins and wider tree basins in Mumbai’s Fort area.

The work on the Fort Precinct project was started in February, 2019 and included standardisation of all footpaths, billboards, bus stops, tree basins, hawking pitches near NGMA, Mumbai University, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (Prince of Wales of Museum) to give the area a ‘Heritage Lane’ look. However, the work was delayed due to Covid-19.

BMC, Mumbai The work on the Fort Precinct project was started in February, 2019. (Express photo)

Officials from the Heritage Cell of BMC said the work of concrete footpath surface, disabled-friendly ramps, widening of tree basin and concrete benches for seating of citizens have been completed while work on billboard standardisations and rearrangement of hawkers is still in the progress.

In a latest addition to the work, Monday early morning, a prototype transparent bus shelter was installed outside NGMA. Officials said that this is a standard pattern of bus shelters done across all international cities like New York, London, Hong Kong. After approval from BEST and Heritage Cell officials, the other bus shelters will also be replaced.

“Current bus stops are more like hoardings. With transparent flexi glasses and benches, the new bus shelters will make it safer as well as more comfortable. Most of these bus stops across the world have benches, covers and flexi glasses,” said Pankaj Joshi, Principal Director, Urban Centre Mumbai, who is helping BMC as a consultant in the project.

BMC Officials said the new bus stops will ensure safety of passengers as transparent glass will allow them to keep check on anti-social activities which is one of the menaces around bus shelters across Mumbai. The bus poles will also be changed.

The civic body has said all licensed hawkers from the area will be rearranged so that the changes are more visible. “We will mark pitches for the licensed hawkers and they will be made to sit in a proper arrangement in the same area unlike the current situation which looks chaotic,” said an official from the Heritage Cell.

The Fort Precinct project was awarded to contractor Reliable Enterprises with Rs 7.51 crore to finish the work in ten months.

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