Updated: July 26, 2021 2:38:40 pm
In a bid to promote heritage tourism, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has planned to start a heritage walk in the Grant Road area. The civic body has proposed beautification of about a 1-km stretch from Pandita Ramabai Marg to August Kranti Maidan.
The work will include repairing of footpaths with cobblestones pattern to give a heritage look, widening of tree basins, installation of heritage lamps (light poles) similar to the ones installed near Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus area and beautification of road dividers.
This area covers several historical and heritage places like Mani Bhavan, August Kranti Maidan, Pandita Ramabai Girls Hostel, Arya Samaj Mahila Hostel, St Columba High School located within a kilometre of each other.
Once the beautification work is complete, BMC will take the help of tour guides to organize heritage walks on weekends.
“Outside Mani Bhavan, we are planning to create murals of Mahatma Gandhi on a wall and a small gate. We will rope in organisations, who organise heritage walks on the weekends. This area has a very rich history related to pre-Independence and several heritage structures. The footpaths outside these places will have a heritage look with the help of cobblestones,” Prashant Gaikwad, Assistant Municipal Commissioner, D ward (Malabar Hill, Grant Road) told The Indian Express.
“Labournam Road will also be a part of this heritage walk,” he added.
August Kranti Maidan is known for the Quit India movement launched by Mahatma Gandhi on August 8, 1942, against the British regime. Another important historical place, Mani Bhavan was the epicentre of India’s struggle for freedom and it housed Mahatma Gandhi very frequently during the fight. Currently, it is a museum.
Arya Samaj Mahila Hostel and Pandita Ramabai Girls Hostel both are heritage structures and related to Pandita Ramabai, a social reformer and scholar in Sanskrit, who worked for the education and empowerment of women in India.
The other heritage site is the 187-years old St Columba High School, which is one of the oldest girl’s schools in Mumbai.
The BMC is going to spend about Rs 1.5 crore on the project. After receiving only one response to tender for the beautification work, it has re-invited the tender seeking more responses.
The work will be completed in three months from the day of the work order issued to the contractor.
In January this year, the BMC launched a ‘Heritage Walk’ initiative and threw open its 128-year-old heritage headquarters building at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) for heritage enthusiasts.
The building designed by FW Stevens has a mixture of Gothic and Indo-Saracenic styles of architecture. The weekend heritage walk is organized by Bharat Gothoskar, founder of Khaki Heritage Foundation.
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