Saturday, November 14, 2020

Navi Mumbai: Waiting for take-off

It is India’s largest planned city but makes news only when Prime Minister Narendra Modi or Justin Bieber come calling. Otherwise, Navi Mumbai is just a poor cousin of Mumbai. It has to wait five years at least before it becomes a happening place; the optimistic estimate for the international airport to be completed.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray was here recently to review the much delayed airport project but his visit hardly created a ripple. It is not only the airport, Navi Mumbai itself has been waiting for take-off since ages.

In fact, the story of Navi Mumbai is the story of tortoise transport projects, beginning with the vital bridges over the Thane creek between the two cities. The first one came up in 1973 at Vashi while the second at Airoli, the other end of the city, took another 26 years, opening in 1999.

Today, visitors marvel at Navi Mumbai’s railway stations, which are massive office complexes but the railways crossed the creek only in 1992, two decades after the first brick was laid for New Bombay, as it was then called. This was the booster shot the city needed. Its population almost doubled in the decade 1991-2001; going up from 3.87 lakhs to 7. 04 lakhs, a jump of 82 per cent.

Before this, the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO), tasked with creating Navi Mumbai, had a tough time populating it. Early settlers recall CIDCO officials hailing passersby and offering them a bottle of Coke in their sales office in Vashi’s Sector 1.

14/11/20 Anil Singh/Free Press Journal

To Read the News in full at Source, Click the Headline


Post a Comment