Real Estate News

Marine Drive 2.0 coming up in the East

7-km long promenade part of Port Trust's plan to revamp 350 hectares of land along eastern water front between Mazagaon Docks and Wadala
The Eastern water front of the city has never quite had the allure that the western seafront has had. But all that may change in the next few years. The Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) is giving finishing touches to a master plan that will completely revamp the land along the eastern water front. One of the key features of the plan is a 7-km long Marine Drive between Mazagaon Docks and Wadala, nearly twice the length of the Queen's Necklace in the West.
The MbPT's masterplan, which will cover 350 hectares of land, will be finalised in the next four months, confirmed MbPT chairman Sanjay Bhatia. “After the eastern water front development plan is finalised, we should be in a position to float the tenders for the projects within one year . And in the next five to six years, you will have a completely new city on the eastern coast of the city,“ Bhatia told Mumbai Mirror.
The plan also includes an ecological garden which will be five times the size of the 8.9-hectare Oval Maidan.For those missing a proper parking space for their private yachts, fret not.The marina on the water front, which can park around 300 yachts, will have you covered.
There are also plans to connect Ferry Wharf or Bhaucha Dhakka with Navi Mumbai and Alibaug through water transport. A pick up point will be located somewhere near Sewri or Wadala as well.
There is good news for tourists to Elephanta Caves as there is a plan to build a ropeway between the island and Haji Bunder. Currently, the popular tourist spot is only accessible through ferry service. A cable car or ropeway to the island will have an added benefit of taking electricity supply to the island, which currently does not have it.
The MbPT also has plans to build a complex, over 15 hectares of land, to house Central Government Offices (CGO) so as to bring all the offices, currently spread across the city and occupying prime real estate, under one roof. To make this master plan a reality, around 10,000 hutments on MbPT land, occupying nearly 50 hectares, will have to be rehabilitated.
The big question remains ­ how much will all this cost? MbPT chairman Bhatia says it is too early to talk about funds. "Right now detailed plans are not being prepared for each project so it will be difficult to estimate how much each component will cost. However, projects like Ropeway, Marina, convention centre, entertainment hub, etc will be done through Public Private Partnership (PPP) model and projects like marine drive, ecological park will be funded by MbPT, funds for which will be raised through development of CGO. The central government departments and public sector undertakings who will occupy offices in this complex will have to pay a lease at market rate."
An overarching revamp of the country's oldest harbour was declared right after Nitin Gadkari took charge of the shipping ministry when the BJP assumed power at the Centre in 2014.Gadkari also appointed a committee under Rani Jadhav, then chairperson of MbPT, to suggest ways to develop the land. In her assessment, Jadhav had recommended streamlining of port operations, shutting some of the loss-making and polluting port activities, and opening up 60 per cent of the 750 hectares of land for public use.
However, some environmentalists are not too impressed with the plan.Debi Goenka, executive trustee of the NGO Conservation Action Trust said, “This development plan clearly suggests that MbPT no longer needs this land for its operation, so it should be given back to city and protected as a open space. Except for proposal for ecological park, all other proposals are in the direction of denying the open spaces which this city desperately needs.“ He added that this would be going against former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's assurance. In the 1980s, when Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) was developed as an alternative to Mumbai Port, Gandhi had assured that whatever land not required for port operations would be returned to the city.
Pankaj Joshi, executive director of Urban Design and Research Institute, was more positive. "One will have to carefully study all the projects proposed under the master plan and see whether they are in accordance with the recommendations of Rani Jadhav committee and see what is there for the city, the larger metropolitan region and the port. If it is benefiting all three, then all these projects are welcome." Source: Times of India, March 20, 2017, Mumbai << Back