New jewels for Queen’s Necklace

The MMRDA’s facelift plan for Marine Drive includes landscaping, re-paving, subways, better lighting and two amphitheatres

Mumbai Mirror Bureau

The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has set the ball rolling for the latest of its several ambitious projects — the refurbishment of the city’s most famous road: Marine Drive.

Union Urban Development minister Jaipal Reddy and chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh inaugurated the plans at a evening function at Nariman Point on Monday.

Reddy said that the refurbished Marine Drive would be symbolic of modern urban India, and extended all support to the state government to make the city a better place to live in.

Deshmukh rattled a list of projects that his government would like to offer the state, provided the Union government co-operated.

When the plan will be completed is anybody’s guess, but what Mumbai Mirror can tell you, is what’s in store.

Phase I:

Sea-wall: Years of waves lashing against the walls of the road have made the walls weak. While stronger tetrapods are a given, a slight modification in the wall, with more attractive granite cladding is also envisaged.

West-side footpath: Paver blocks and granite once again comes into play, and pre-cast concrete profiles will replace kerb stones and water tables.

East side footpath: The flooring will be redone with paver blocks, flower beds and steel railings.

Duct: Re-enforced concrete cement ducts will be used in the eastern footpath.

Oasis: As a part of the beautification programme, centralised islands of dense landscaping and informal sit-outs will be constructed around the bus stops on west-side footpath.

Parsi gate: The Parsi Gate will get a make-over.

Landscaping: Across the stretch, lawns, trees, shrubs and flower beds will be planted at specified locations.

Lighting: The existing light structures will be replaced by modern structures of international standards.

Phase II:

? A small amphitheatre at the NCPA end of the road.

? A new garden in front of the Mantralaya and Vidhan Sabha, to befit their status.

? Restoration of the buildings standing along the sea-face. Street furniture and heritage plaques to be provided.

? Subways to be constructed at four pedestrian crossings along with toilets and drinking water facilities. The subway close to Opera House to have retail space in it.

? An open air amphitheatre at Chowpatty, with provisions for the existing bhelpuri vendors.