The BMC will give the historic Fort area a facelift at a cost of ₹5 crore. All facets, including the Horniman Circle, pavements and heritage structures, will soon get a makeover in the city’s A-ward, which is frequented by both domestic and international tourists.
To begin with, the civic body plans to remove all encroachments. Next on the plan is shifting bus stops at Mahatma Gandhi Road. New bus shelters made out of glass would be set up at Kala Ghoda. All this will be undertaken while keeping the area’s heritage value intact.
Conservation of Horniman Circle garden fence
The project includes conservation of Horniman Circle garden fence, repair work of the walkway inside the garden, renovation of the water fountain, seating arrangement, and installation of heritage look electric poles.
The idea of beautifying the area has been welcomed by architects and those celebrating the Kala Ghoda festival. However, they felt that the BMC should undertake some consultative process before spending the money, and broaden the resolve of the beautification project.
Conservation architect Abha Narain Lambah said, “It’s an important, welcome initiative. However, before the money is spent, the design should be vetted by citizens so that it’s consistent and in sync with the historic area. The design should be suitable for the precinct.”
"Mumbai can be more beautiful, neater and cleaner"
Brinda Miller, honorary chairperson of the Kala Ghoda Association, said, “It’s a very good idea and they need to make the area more accessible, with greater pedestrianisation. In Kala Ghoda, the entire street is pedestrianised. It gives a different feel. Due to the Metro work, we have too much congestion but it’s the most beautiful part of Mumbai and can be more beautiful, neater and cleaner.”
Miller said that accessibility is a big question mark here. “A lot of it should be for walking and not cars. Public transport should be encouraged in the area and the traffic situation should be simplified.” Miller said that Ballard Estate needs to be included in the plan as it has scope and space. “Even the docks in the area should be highlighted and more should be done with waterways,” Miller said.