The ongoing construction at Reclamation has triggered a lovers* exodus to Bandstand; police increase surveillance to avoid drowing incidents
The ongoing construction work at Bandra Reclamation has forced lovers to abandon their favourite spot in favour of Bandstand and Carter Road. That automatically means a huge increase in crowds at Bandstand, and public display of affection (PDA) too. Something tells us residents here aren*t going to be too pleased.
Couples dot the benches at Bandra Banstand, after being forced to
abandon old favourite Bandra Reclamation on account of construction
work. PIC/ Pradeep Dhivar
In order to give a new look to Reclamation and make it the new tourist attraction of Mumbai, the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) in April this year awarded the contract of Rs 7.8 crore to DB Realty to beautify the 1.5 km stretch from Mahim interchange to Bandra-Worli Sea link (BWSL).
Ever since Bandra Reclamation came into existence, its beauty, with the view of the sea on the left has made it a favourite destination with college-going youngsters and couples who come here to spend their late afternoons and evenings sitting on the Reclamation wall. Couples too could spend time undisturbed, save for the occasional police patrol vehicle.
But after various residents associations from the area made several complaints to the local police stations objecting to the PDA, the police had begun to fine couples. Some associations had even said that they would install CCTV cameras in the area so that couples would move.
"I have been frequenting Bandra Reclamation with my girlfriend for a while and I don*t there*s another romantic spot as beautiful in Mumbai. Last year, we were fined Rs 1,200 by police when we were sitting there. Now, the construction work at Reclamation has forced us to hang out at Bandstand, but it is too crowded," rues Graydon Gomes (22), a resident of Malad.
However, resident of the area are happy that the promenade work has forced couples to move to other places. On condition of anonymity, a member of the locality said, "It is good that the promenade work has started. We no longer have to deal with the indecent behavior of couples, which was a daily affair. The construction has not left us with any space to go for morning walks, though."
The increase in the number of couples visiting Bandstand and Carter Road means increased surveillance duties for the local police station as well as lifeguards. In the past, couple sitting on the rocks far into the sea have drowned due to the rise in water level which takes places during high tide.
Speaking to SUNDAY MiD DAY, Prakash George, Senior Police Inspector, Bandra Police Station said, "Our patrolling team visits Bandstand at regular intervals and we don*t allow anyone to sit on the rocks because in the past accidents have taken place and people have drowned in the sea."
However, a police constable said, on condition of anonymity, that the number of couples visiting Bandstand has gone up, making it very difficult for them to manage the crowd during weekends, when the number of visitors is high. However, he added that there is no reason to worry as lifeguards are present at Bandstand.
What*s happening at Bandra Reclamation?
Authorities have planned to erect a 22-metre viewing tower called Sheesh Mahal, made up of glass. The structure will be at the entrance of the promenade. The 40-metre wide promenade will depict the seven eras of Mumbai*s history, starting from the Ashoka period to post Independence. The promenade will also have an open air theatre, the seven-island columns or the Saptdeep Stambh, a Bollywood celebrity walk and board walk, Sheesh Minar, an area for meditation, and sit outs. The work ends in December 2011.