Let's work towards a better planned city

Published: Dec 11, 2019, 05:12 IST | The Editorial | Mumbai

As Mumbai evolves, we need constant efforts to make our facilities like canteens, toilets, even street shopping, part of a larger and well thought-out design for the city

BMC Office
BMC Office

The BMC's heritage department wants the canteen outside Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalay (formerly known as Prince of Wales museum) to shift by 5 metres to allow for a better view of the 105-year-old structure.

This is part of a beautification plan for the MG Road stretch, which is also a very heavy tourist spot. The BEST canteen, which is a popular Mumbai darshan stopover, will be shifted just a few metres. There are plans of re-designing to make it more aesthetically appealing.

There should be support for all initiatives to up the appeal of these places and see that they not only blend in with their surroundings but have both functionality and visuality. These efforts serve more purpose than political bickering over what some piece of infrastructure should be named and after who.

As Mumbai evolves, we need constant efforts to make our facilities like canteens, toilets, even street shopping, part of a larger and well thought-out design for the city. We have to strike the right balance not just between environment and development, but between the old and the new too. Heritage structures and buildings that draw tourists are naturally going to have public amenities like toilets and eating places, close to them. We have to dip into our talent pool of designers and architects who can make these eye-pleasing plazas, so that the contemporary utility does not stand out like an ugly eyesore or take away from the historical aspects of a building.

With reference to this particular canteen, the structure has a resting place and a kitchen for BEST bus drivers. The BEST is also co-operating. If projects are undertaken with vision, stake holders are taken on board and experts at the helm, we can have a better planned city where the pragmatic and pleasing meet.

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