Mumbai City Guardian Minister Deepak Kesarkar has several plans for the city, from developing places of worship to senior citizens’ care centres and safeguarding local traditions through food trucks. Speaking at a press conference at the BMC headquarters on Wednesday, Kesarkar discussed many such concepts for the betterment of Mumbai. He also hinted that the Mumbai Eye giant observation wheel project may come up at the Mahalaxmi Racecourse.
The MMRDA has been looking for a new location to set up the Mumbai Eye after Bandra residents opposed the previous location at Bandra Reclamation over the traffic issue.
Kesarkar said that the racecourse is enjoyed only by a few rich people and that the authorities must think about a suitable use of it for all. “We cannot develop any commercial project on the coastal road reclamation as per SC’s direction. But a project like Mumbai Eye can certainly come at the racecourse and a subway till the reclamation will solve the traffic issue as well,” he said. The state government is considering the construction of a subway from the racecourse to the coastal road reclamation to ease traffic movement.
Kesarkar submitted 42 points to the BMC administration for consideration, including the development of Koliwadas of Cuffe Parade, Worli and Mahim into tourist spots which will have traditional food, dance and a facility of stay at fishermen’s homes. “Night food trucks run by women’s self-help groups can be used to encourage the city’s traditions like Koli food, Malvani food, and Jain/Gujarati food at various spots,” he said.
Further, Kasarkar discussed an idea for a revamp of Banganga, and Mahalaxmi and Mumbadevi temples. He also suggested development of facilities for tourists and devotees, in line with tradition, at Banganga and Haji Ali. “We have already sanctioned R220 crore for the development of the Mumbadevi temple premises. Even a road from Mahalaxmi temple to the nearby parking lot will be open by October 15, before the Navratri festival,” he said.
Kasarkar also pushed for a night centre for people who sleep on footpaths and a special drive to keep the city drug-free.
Care centres for senior citizens
As per provisions in the development plan, Kesarkar instructed the BMC administration to start at least one daycare centre for the elderly in each ward in the south city area. “I am also looking to provide them with Shiv Bhojan Thalis at lunch. There are eight wards in the city and I also suggest such a scheme to suburban Guardian Minister Mangal Prabhat Lodha,” Kesarkar said.