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Mumbai: Bright is the site

Updated on: 17 February,2024 07:21 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Hemal Ashar |

Better illumination puts the merry into Colaba’s charming Mereweather Road

Mumbai: Bright is the site

Work on street lights is underway. Pics/Sayyed Sameer Abedi

Key Highlights

  1. Mereweather Road in Colaba is all set to become brighter
  2. The leafy little road with some charming, old-style residences is all set for an upgrade
  3. The road which does have streetlights all along, will see more light

Mereweather Road in Colaba which is located close to Radio Club, and off Garden Hotel, is all set to become brighter. The leafy little road with some charming, old-style residences is all set for an upgrade in illumination. The road which does have streetlights all along, will see more light thanks to the existing lights becoming double-pronged. The project started on Friday morning. One more arm is being added to each streetlight. “The lights already have one arm, but one more is being added,” said Capt Sanjay Bawle, Colaba local. “Now these lights will resemble a ‘V’ shape,” he added.

It is V for victory for residents and activists who believe that lighting is one facet never to be flippant about. It leads to greater safety. “The Mereweather road, though not as small and narrow as a by-lane, is tucked away inside the main road and can get fairly lonely as dusk falls, the workforce goes home and residents too move indoors. Shoppers too, a most visible Colaba feature generally do not use this road. More visibility is a deterrent to some unwanted activities, but it is not the only one,” they stated as they gathered at a corner of the road and celebrated as the BEST began its work.

Local resident and corporator Makarand Narvekar at Mereweather Road
Local resident and corporator Makarand Narvekar at Mereweather Road

Pervez Cooper Henry Road resident said, “There are several druggies and other nuisance here at times, in fact, in all the little by-lanes of Colaba. They try to sell you some stuff, tail you on these roads, walking behind, mumbling, and trying to persuade you. It is disconcerting, when one is simply trying to get home.”

Some of the men stated that there were pimps and soliciting was also witnessed on smaller roads, offshoots of main roads. “Lights, of course, are not an automatic solution to numerous problems. There is an entire bouquet, like surveillance, patrolling, signboards and more, which have to come together and then different aspects adversely affecting the area will be addressed,” they stressed and added. “It is a very important part of the collective of safety features.”

Meher Sanjana another resident said, “This road is leafy and green. I am happy for that. It is wonderful to have several trees lining this area. The green canopy though, means that it can get quite dark. So, more light is always welcome.” Poet Robert Frost’s immortal ‘The woods are lovely, dark and deep…’ is for poetry. In the more prosaic, real world, the woods or roads really should be lovely, bright and deep.’ 

Activist Bella Shah, on-site as the second light arms were going up and streetlights became more robust said, “There are regular citizen meets at the garden on this road. We discuss, take note of complaints, and talk about what is needed. The lighting complaints and wish for brighter roads warranted attention and a response. We got cracking very quickly.”

Former corporator Makarand Narvekar on the ground as the light arms were being added, put speedy action down to active people participation. He said, “Locally elected representatives can do their part. People are stakeholders too. Together it is about dual responsibility and action. People power is the engine in the area, spurring us all on.”

The roads are soon to have heritage lamps too, like there are in other spots in Colaba.  In August last year, these lamps with a whiff of heritage and history came up just outside Zero Pasta lane in Colaba, on the SBS road footpath and the centre divider. This was opposite the mandir on the causeway and outside the landmark Parsi colony Cusrow Baug. The heritage lamps all over Colaba will bring uniformity to the aesthetic initiative in the region.

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