Mumbai: Malabar hill viewing deck project moves a step ahead towards reality

The BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has moved another step ahead of getting the city its own viewing deck 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 High court appointed high power committee, 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 has been 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 since 2017.

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.

“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 was still not taking pace. The viewing deck project at Tambe chowk will 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,” Prashant Gaikwad, Assistant Municipal Commissioner of D ward said.

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 build 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.

Elaborating on the proposal of viewing deck Gaikwad 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 deck that will spread across the 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 viewing deck, where people can enjoy the view of the skyline right from NCPA at Nariman Point to the Girgaum Chowpatty.

An underground network of rainwater drains has been constructed the spot, to release rainwater into the sea. Rainwater is being discharged into the sea through rainwater drain passing under Tambe Chowk. The viewing deck will be constructed covering these drains and beautifying the place. Seating will be provided for tourists to watch the sunset. The deck will be large enough to accommodate 40 people at a time. Tourists will have the opportunity to stand ion deck and take selfies iconic Queen's necklace of Mumbai. A small amphitheatre is also part of the plan. At present, there is a small police chowky on the shores near Tambe Chowk. The outpost will also be repaired and painted as part of the beautification project. The civic body is now awaiting a final nod from the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) Gaikwad said.

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