Mumbai: The portion below most of the city’s flyovers is a dumping ground for old scrapped vehicles. Now, for the first time, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) is planning something more than leaving it for encroachment either by people or vehicles at Kalanagar. The planning agency for Mumbai and MMR is proposing a public plaza at a cost of Rs 4.5 crore under the Kalanagar flyover. This is part of their overall idea to create an Art District in Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC).
The Kalanagar junction connects Western Express Highway, BKC and Sion-Dharavi road, and now the MMRDA is planning to enhance its look and usefulness of the flyover through urban design intervention. According to MMRDA officials, they intend to develop a public plaza through landscaping at various nodes and public junctions, creating urban public places such as linear public parks and plazas below the flyover, traffic islands, upgrading the urban street furniture, installation of bus shelter, incorporating green areas, create an open-air auditorium that will host music and art festivals; to enhance and uplift the space below the junction.
“We intend to develop a vibrant public plaza at Kalanagar in the months to come,” said SVR Srinivas, Metropolitan Commissioner, MMRDA.
The Kalangar node is surrounded by various existing and proposed flyovers, proposed elevated Metro lines, Sion-Dharavi bridge and various other major transit corridors which will be passing through this junction. “We are in the process of inviting tenders for various elements of these nodes and recently tender for one such element which is a proposed public plaza under the new Kalanagar flyover,” said an MMRDA official.
They are proposing other amenities at BKC for which a vacant land parcel of 2.5 acres, south of Nandadeep Garden, on the bank of Mithi River facing WEH as an Art Events Plaza. Sources said that as part of the larger BKC Art District Master plan, it will serve as a recreational zone and community center; equipped with facilities like a venue to host artists, stalls and exhibitions during the festival. Moreover, the Mithi River will be treated with fragrance to prevent the stink emitting from it.
The vehicular entrance is planned through the frontage of the site towards the WEH, pedestrian path connects the visitor parking to the plaza and the street by a green buffer zone. The buffer zone will serve as a physical barrier as well as a sound barrier for the street noise for the visitors of the plaza. The Pedestrian entrance is planned from the edge of the site towards the Bandra Sion Link Road.
A drop off vehicular entrance from the Bandra-Sion Link Road edge is also provided for providing better accessibility to the Plaza. The arrival zone at the entrance will be lined with shading trees, seating and art sculpture to enhance the arrival experience of the visitors. The plaza is designed with an Amphitheatre which can accommodate 100 persons on the stepped seating. Mobile food trucks are also proposed on the northwestern edge of the land parcel.
The toilets, electrical room, pump room, office and storage room are located along the buffer area between the plaza and the parking area. Shaded seating areas keeping in mind the weather condition, have been planned within the plaza. The outdoor street furniture will be regarded as abstract art forms plus sidewalks will be there.
The site is accessible by Bandra railway station that is at a walking distance of 850 meters. Metro line 2B once completed will be passing over the site and the closest metro station will be E-Block station on line 2B. This station is at a walking distance of 1 km from the site. The upcoming BKC Station on Line 3 will also be in close proximity.
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