Kala Ghoda area to be made ‘pedestrian-only’ with cobbled pathways | Mumbai News – DollarJob

Kala Ghoda area to be made ‘pedestrian-only’ with cobbled pathways | Mumbai News

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A Kala Ghoda exclusively for pedestrians. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is trying to make it a reality by charting plans to beautify five internal roads in the area by paving them with cobble stones and making them “pedestrian-only” pathways. Once the project is completed, vehicles will not be allowed on these streets.

Former BJP corporator from Colaba, Makarand Narwekar, who is instrumental in getting the project implemented, told The Indian Express, “The idea was to bring back the old world charm of the place. Once the project is complete, plan is to make these streets exclusive to pedestrians.”

Starting from the Rhythm House, five internal streets, including Forbes Street, Rope Walk lane, Saibaba road, Rutherfield Street and B Bharucha road, have been earmarked for the project.

Kala Ghoda, a significant art precinct of the city, hosts several popular eateries, shops, art galleries and iconic structures, including the Rhythm House.

According to senior BMC officials from Ward A, the civic body has already floated tenders for the project, which entails turning the existing roads into cobbled pathways. “Our plan is to upgrade and beautify five internal streets at Kala Ghoda to make them pedestrian-friendly. We have already floated the tenders to appoint the consultant who will execute the desings,” said Jaydeep More, assistant municipal commissioner.

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The plan also seeks to carry out landscaping works as well as wall painting and illumination works in three pockets. Urban Design & Architecture Initiative (UDAI) has been appointed as the urban designer for the project.

Kala Ghoda area to be made ‘pedestrian-only’ with cobbled pathways

Going forward, the plan is to stop access to vehicles on these streets so that pedestrians can freely move about on the streets and enjoy the heritage structures. At present, a large space on these streets are occupied by vehicles that belong to individuals working in and around the area.

On addressing the issue of parking, the consultants said, “For vehicles that are legally parked here, we are looking for alternative spaces. This plan is being executed in stages and we are working on parking aspects.”

According to officials, the project aims to develop the space as an art avenue where events are organised round the year, and not just during the Kala Ghoda art festival.

Rishi Aggarwal, founder of Walking Project, told The Indian Express that while the project was commendable, the plan would require a lot of planning with the owners of the establishments who park their vehicles in the area. “For now, to make the streets more pedestrian-friendly, the BMC can start heavily penalising vehicles parked in these lanes,” he said.

In 2016, the civic body had rolled out a similar project in Kala Ghoda on Sundays when the roads were closed for vehicular traffic from 9 am to 7 pm. During this period, 21 box spaces were rented out to artistes to showcase their talent. However, the plan drew a lukewarm response from the public.

While the idea is to “pedestrianise” the lanes, consultants maintained that the roads will be equipped to ferry heavy vehicles in case of emergencies such as fire.

According to civic officials, the BMC is planning to replicate similar “pedestrian friendly” initiatives at Colaba’s Regal Junction and other locations.



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