After a two-year delay, the Maharashtra Maritime Board has finally begun work on the construction of a concrete embankment on a 400-metre patch of the iconic Bandstand promenade.

A report in this paper yesterday outlined the plans for the popular hangout. The embankment will protect the promenade from tidal erosion and allow Mumbaikars to sit closer to the Arabian Sea. The project will cost
Rs 2 crore and work is expected to be completed by June.

It is important that this project does not sit on paper only but actually gets off the ground in double-quick time and, most importantly, is completed on schedule. Mumbaikars have become weary and cynical of infrastructure projects and taxpayers are naturally irked when projects are stretched incessantly, leading to costs doubling or even trebling.

The monsoon will be upon us in a little over a month and Mumbaikars know how sea-facing promenades attract crowds during the season. Revellers venture too far out at times, putting themselves in danger. At other times, the promenades are eroded due to wear and tear and not repaired during the monsoon, which too can be dangerous. Some doubt that the promenade work will be completed before the monsoon, but it should, at least, start on schedule.

The city should, in fact, look at how promenades across the city can be improved and made more people-friendly and safe before the monsoon. Certain embankments can be built or even certain spots can be designed
by an architect or expert where people can actually sit in safety closer to the sea. These will become great tourist spots.

Let the authorities actually capitalise on Mumbai’s great lure the shoreline and see how it can be made more accessible to the public. Mumbaikars are lucky to have these sea-facing stretches. Let urban planners make the most of these; creative minds must come together and overcome bureaucratic hurdles to give our promenades a real fillip.