Gateway of India
According to TIMES NEWS NETWORK:
Work on the ground, to give a multi-crore makeover to the Gateway of India, has finally started. A lot of time was wasted as architects failed to agree on the best look for one of Mumbai’s defining landmarks. But authorities now promise that the new-look Gateway will be ready by 2008.
Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation officials say they will be able to give people a new and improved Gateway precinct after six months of uninterrupted work. But, with the monsoon likely to stop work for some time, officials say 2008 is a better bet for a date with that “new, improved’’ Gateway.
The plaza and the park at the Gateway will soon see construction workers milling at the site and digging up the old paved stones for reconstitution of the plaza. The changes are expected to allow more people to stand and gape across the harbour from what has become one of the most popular must-see spots for visitors to the city. The project, first floated by INTACH, has been planned by city architect P K Das and is now another BMC project being overseen by the additional municipal commissioner Manukumar Srivastava.
INTACH regional chapter head Tasneem Mehta said the original plan was conceived by her organisation but now it incorporated suggestions from the Heritage Committee and the BMC as well. “Several features, like the establishment of a museum and a car-park, have been left out because of suggestions that have come in later,’’ Mehta said. Das said he was working with the municipal authorities and the more serious work would soon begin. “We have just started,’’ he added.
This project, Das said, was only the first part of the development of the precinct. Development of the area from the Radio Club to the Regal (cinema) will be taken up in the second phase. But officials admit that the beautification plan has been plagued by problems since the idea was mooted seven years ago. There were two plans competing for the project; one was submitted by the Urban Design Research Institute and architect Charles Correa and the other by INTACH and Das. The competing plans were reviewed by a government task-force headed by the chief secretary and including the municipal commissioner and the MMRDA commissioner. The INTACH proposal was chosen but there were suggestions that were later incorported into plan. The new plan was approved by the municipal standing committee and the general body later.