A model “heritage lane” is set to be built in south Mumbai’s iconic Fort precinct with the BMC set to appoint a contractor for its ambitious project.
The project entails restoring the Fort precinct, starting with the section of Mahatma Gandhi Road between National Gallery of Modern Art, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahlaya (Prince of Wales Museum), Esplanade Mansion and Mumbai University.
For the pilot project, the BMC has finalised Reliable Enterprises to take up the work at a cost of Rs 7.51 crore. Work will be completed in 10 months, after which, the contractor will maintain the precinct for three years.
The proposal to appoint the contractor will be tabled at the Standing Committee meeting this Friday.
According to the proposal, MG Road has the largest concentration of heritage buildings, but uneven footpaths, unplanned billboards, overgrown trees, bus stops, stalls and unauthorised hawking mar visitors’ view of the stretch. The contractor is supposed to redecorate the stretch in lines with its heritage character.
An official from the heritage department said, “Under the pilot project, streetlights, signages, trees, bus stops and billboards in the area will be changed. For example, bus stops will be replaced with structures using transparent and toughened glass for an aesthetic look, billboards of restaurants and corporate offices will be made uniform. Overgrown trees will be pruned to a uniform height. The footpaths will be made pedestrian friendly.”
The official added that heritage walks may be organised once the project is completed.
Earlier, the plan to redecorate the Fort precinct and create a model heritage lane was delayed after the BMC received poor response from bidders. The BMC was forced to re-invite tenders thrice in the last four months.