AFTER several meetings, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has finally agreed to take up certain short-term measures for the beautification of Marine Drive, which has long been proposed by the residents of the area. After a presentation on the possible measures was made during a meeting on Wednesday, the municipal commissioner, Ajoy Mehta, has agreed to implement nine of the suggestions and deputed the task to various civic officials.
While members of the Nariman Point Churchgate Citizens’ Welfare Trust (NPCCWT) held discussions on the issue with the BMC last year, this year, local BJP corporator, Harshita Narwekar, took up the matter with the civic chief around four months ago. The residents had earlier consulted architect Ratan Batliboi, who helped designing the first phase. On Wednesday, he made the presentation on the second phase as well.
Mehta has directed the deputy municipal commissioners and officials of ward offices concerned to take up the repair of the parapet of Marine Drive promenade, refurbish the toilet near the Air India building and restore the fountain under the Princess Street Flyover among others things. “Marine Drive needs to be spruced up. The BMC will also renovate Parsi Gate and beautify Tambe Chowk that can be used by people for recreational activities,” said Narwekar. Other measures include planting hedges on railings, from NCPA to Tambe Chowk, removal of a defunct pipeline near the Princess Street Flyover and leveling of the road.
Certain measures, like increasing height of the barricade to prevent people from jumping over it and crossing the road, however, will need permission from the Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee. “We have decided to implement some of the short-term measures and another meeting will be held later this week to decide on the deadlines for implementation of the ideas. They (the work) are all, however, expected to be completed in the next six months,” said Mehta. Barring short-term measures, Batliboi has also given long-term suggestions. Apart from a sitting gallery that locals have been asking for, Batliboi has suggested an Eco Walk that can be set up in the small lane near Tarapore Aquarium. “We can set up information panels about long-term environmental strategies, like spread awareness about using eco-friendly material for Ganesh idols among others,” he said adding that since many people visit the aquarium, children can take a walk along the lane, which can be an informative experience for them.