Mumbai will soon have its own viewing gallery at Malabar Hill near Tambe Chowk, from where people can enjoy a vantage view of the queen’s necklace (from Nariman Point to Marine Drive). Following a nod from the Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee (MHCC), the civic body will now push for the project that will give an ‘unbroken and pristine’ view of the queen’s necklace.
The initiative is part of the civic body’s ambitious Marine Drive to Girgaum Chowpatty beautification project. The civic body is now awaiting a final go ahead from the three-member high power committee appointed by the Bombay High court and Mumbai Port Trust that owns the piece of land. Once all the approvals are acquired, Mumbai will join the elite group of global cities, including Paris, Kuala Lumpur, Berlin, New York and Dubai to have its own viewing gallery.
“Mumbai — a city by the Arabian Sea — brags about its coastline, however, takes its waste to its waterfront. The city actually abuses its most valuable natural asset — the 62 km coastline that runs from Colaba to Versova in the west to Wadala on the East. While beach cleaning and waterfront cleaning has been carried out at all levels, the beautification part is still not taking pace. The viewing gallery project not just help boost tourism but will also give a vantage view of the city’s skyline and the famous queen’s necklace to the visitors,” said a senior BMC official.
This was not the first time that the civic body had proposed to built a viewing gallery in the area. Almost a decade ago, the civic body had proposed to build a two-deck viewing gallery/observation deck at the top of Malabar Hill, where the iconic café Naaz once stood. The civic body was planning to built the observation deck at the estimated cost of Rs 6.7 crore. The same project was pushed by the civic body once again last year; however, the proposal saw no movement. The new proposal of a ‘viewing gallery’ at Malabar Hill near Tambe Chowk has already got an approval of the Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee (MHCC) and awaiting the high power committee’s nod, which the civic body is very confident will be in its favour.
Elaborating on the proposal of viewing gallery, Vishwas Mote, assistant commissioner of D ward, said: “Girgaum Chowpatty and Marine Drive promenade are iconic public spaces visited by international and national tourists as well as residents of Mumbai. The viewing gallery that will spread across 100 metre area at the end of Malabar Hill near Tambe Chowk, will become a popular spot for the tourists. The place, according to architect, is the best possible corner for developing into a gallery, where people can enjoy the view of the skyline right from NCPA at Nariman Point to the Girgaum Chowpatty.
The land belongs to Mumbai Port Trust; hence, we have sought approval from them. Besides, a heritage storm signal belonging to British era too is located at the same location and we have got their approval.” Mote added: “Already a police beat chowky and traffic island are located around this stretch, they too will be refurbished according to the theme of the viewing gallery. Not only this but the bus stop on this end too will be refurbished accordingly.”