Mumbai: BMC plans cultural addas at Haji Ali and Chowpatty

Updated: Oct 14, 2018, 14:15 IST | Arita Sarkar

Activities like live musical performances, heritage walks and social awareness campaigns will be on the agenda at three Mumbai areas

Mumbai: BMC plans cultural addas at Haji Ali and Chowpatty
Kilachand Garden at Malabar Hill/Pic by Bipin Kokate

Areas like Malabar Hill, Girgaon Chowpatty and Haji Ali will soon have live musical performances, heritage walks and social awareness campaigns following the directions issued by the Mumbai Urban Art Commission last month. The D ward officials have explored various options of promoting cultural activities in public areas and are all set to begin later this month.

For starters, the D ward officials want to start heritage walks around Nanachowk, an area they refer to as the 'Gandhi Peace Precinct'. The area includes Mani Bhavan which was Mahatma Gandhi's residence in the city from 1917-1934; Tejpal Hall, known as the birthplace of Indian National Congress; and August Kranti Maidan where Gandhi had issued the speech as part of the Quit India Movement.

Mani Bhavan
Mani Bhavan

Vishwas Mote, assistant municipal commissioner of D ward said that he has been working with the trustees of Mani Bhavan, local residents as well as officials from the India Tourism Development Corporation to arrange for heritage walks in the 'Gandhi Peace Precinct'. "Most tourists visit Mani Bhavan and leave since they aren't aware of the historical importance of the area. We will conduct a meeting with private tourist guides and set up these guided heritage walks for tourists," he said.

Mote added that other similar initiatives will be taken up at Girgaon Chowpatty, where they have identified locations that can host live music shows and street plays can take place. "We are illuminating the area around the Kennedy lamp, which is of heritage value. Street plays can take place on the promenade. Similarly, we will re-arrange the bhel vendors and create a space where musicians can perform for the people. There, we will provide facilities like water supply, toilets and lights," he said.

The Kilachand Garden at Malabar Hill is another such location where the BMC band will perform on first and third Saturdays every month. "Apart from just patriotic songs, they will play other songs as well and will also take requests from the public. We are also planning to include the Army and Navy bands as well," said Mote.

Barring the live performances, social awareness campaigns will be held at the Hanging Gardens where a viewing gallery was recently inaugurated. Similar to the LOVE MUMBAI signs set up at selfie points in the city, one such installation will be put up at the promenade near Haji Ali as well and civic officials are planning to utilise the space near as an open theatre.

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