Mumbai, the city that never sleep, is not just known for its festivals, celebs or vada pav, but also the chaos and speedy lives of its people. But even in this hectic schedule, they find their escape by gazing at the horizon, sitting by the edge of Marine Drive.
The Maharashtra government has proposed the queen's necklace be a UNESCO world heritage site. A move that will protect the location and locality against any further development or redevelopment. But Marine Drive residents have opposed the proposal given by the government on the grounds that neither the government nor Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) have consulted them before taking this decision. As a matter of fact, these residents happen to be the primary stakeholders.Of 1,040 flats and 37 houses in the area, most of the buildings are old as they were built way back in 1940's and 1950's and are not even earthquake resistant.
The people voice their concerns, "No one from BMC or government came to us to seek our opinion. We are residents of this area, and in a welfare state, our opinion matters and should have been taken note of," advocate Ashok Goel who is also a resident of Marine Drive told DNA.
He wants a bigger and better home with modern amenities, which will be possible only if the 63-year-old building he resides in is given permission for redevelopment.
Their concerns are echoed by Raj Purohit, the BJP MLA from the area, "There is nothing that could be termed heritage in this area. The buildings aren't even made of the same stone, and neither do they have the same number of floors. There are hotels that are standing tall next to buildings which are smaller in size, and they all are coloured differently," Purohit told DNA.
While the UNESCO is yet to decide the destiny of one of mumbai’s most beautiful and visited sights, the real question is will the move be a boon or a bane to locals?