Mumbai: Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) today launched a global design competition for makeover of the Maharashtra Nature Park (MNP) in the heart of the city.

"MMRDA invites multi-disciplinary design teams that are capable of designing and delivering a technically demanding, environmentally sensitive and world-class makeover of the prestigious Maharashtra Nature Park," MMRDA said in a statement.

The competition has two distinct deliverables. First, the comprehensive makeover of MNP itself, which mandates a substantial expansion of the existing forest-like environment and significant enhancement of its nature education and nature tourism potential, it said.

The second component involves establishment of non-motorised connectivity exclusively for pedestrians and cyclists, between MNP and Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) across the Mithi River, it added.

Observer Research Foundation Mumbai is the Knowledge Partner for the competition.

"It is clarified here that the proposed makeover of MNP will neither lead to its privatisation, nor to its transformation as an amusement park. Its principal purpose is to further enhance the usefulness of MNP for all citizens," MMRDA added.

Five shortlisted competitors will be asked to develop their respective master plans. The winner will work with MMRDA to further develop their master plan in line with the statutory environmental guidelines, and other building and construction regulations up to a point that it could be executed by a contractor after approval from competent authorities, it said.

An equal honorarium of Rs 5 lakh will be paid to each of the five teams shortlisted, including the winner. The winning design will be awarded a prize of Rs 50 lakh, the statement added.