Rapid development and better connectivity are positives, but escalating real estate means locals are being pushed out of the suburb
With Mumbai Metro connecting Ghatkopar to its Western suburb cousin Andheri, and the freeway connecting it to Bandra, the real estate prices here have zoomed. Resident Mithilesh Rajput says, “Infrastructure has been a big plus in Ghatkopar for the last few years.
The Mumbai Metro has a place of pride in the hearts of Ghatkopar residents. Pic/Datta Kumbhar
The Mumbai Metro and new flyover have made travel much easier for commuters to and from Ghatkopar within and outside as well. But the traffic has increased parking issues. The hawkers make matters worse by encroaching on the roads as well as the footpaths.”
The crowded roads in Ghatkopar tops the list of woes for residents. Pic/Sameer Markande
Real estate haven
“The biggest positive for Ghatkopar has been the way buildings have come up. There are new businesses also mushrooming in the area which have added to the positives. The metro connecting the Western and Central Railway lines has also helped Ghatkopar become a prime area,” feels Jigar Sharma, another resident.
Hitesh Patel, resident says, “I have been living in Ghatkopar for the last 39 years. There is no development but only redevelopment happening.” Agreeing with him, Hiren Bhat says, “Old buildings are being demolished and new structures are coming up.
But the sad part is that the rate has gone up, it is impossible for the common man to buy a house here. Ghatkopar is an upmarket place, but the people who helped make it so, sadly cannot afford to stay here any more.”
Rajput adds, “Ghatkopar was once called a village because of the barren land. Now the place has become a prime location as there are malls, restaurants and upscale businesses which have grown in the last few years.”
Sharma says, “Vikrant and Orion Circle are two iconic places in Ghatkopar. When you give people directions or have to point out landmarks, these are the two places that pop up in my mind.” For Patel, the best place in Ghatkopar is Vallabhaibaug Lane. He says, “People of Ghatkopar hang out here, every evening.
My family and I love shopping here as things are quite reasonable. After that, we spend quality time eating the tasty street food. The best pani puri and pav bhaji in the city are made here.”
The metro is Ghatkopar’s new icon according to Bhat who says, “Compared to roads, the metro is very convenient and economical especially for those who have to go to Marol, Saki Naka or Versova. The metro is two-pronged useful and a modern means of transport, too.”
“Real estate wise, I see Ghatkopar flourishing and becoming a hi-fi area. The connectivity will only improve and the buildings are getting better. With business opportunities growing, Ghatkopar will be a sought after place to live in soon,” says Patel.
Bhat also sees Ghatkopar as a real estate hub. He says, “Ghatkopar will become a posh residential area. But I fear that the rate at which it is developing, locals will not be able to be part of the place in the not so distant future due to the prices.”
“I am hoping that Ghatkopar manages to find a solution to the congestion. I do not like the crowds and food stalls all over the place. The hawkers taking over the footpaths and roads are not a good sign for a Mumbai hub. As a place, I see Ghatkopar on par with Bandra in the next few years. The current space issues just needs to be sorted and it will be a great place to live in,” says Sharma.
Agreeing that Ghatkopar has it in itself to be the next Bandra, Rajput ends, “I see good days ahead. Ghatkopar will be the Bandra of the Central suburbs. The slums that are all over need to be cleared and proper housing provided to reach that goal, which I see happening soon.”
This is the third part of our weekly series on different areas in Mumbai, through the lens of the locals