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Kala Ghoda Set To Transform Into Pedestrian Paradise, BMC Unveils Ambitious Makeover Plan

The selected streets, including Forbes Street, Rope Walk Lane, Saibaba Road, Rutherfield Street, and B Bharucha Road, weave through the heart of Kala Ghoda, connecting its vibrant tapestry of eateries, shops, art galleries, and iconic landmarks such as the renowned Rhythm House

In a bid to revive the timeless allure of Mumbai's cherished cultural enclave, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has unveiled ambitious plans to transform Kala Ghoda into a pedestrian haven, reminiscent of the city's bygone era. The project aims to beautify five internal roads in the area by paving them with cobblestones and declaring them "pedestrian-only" pathways, in a move that promises to redefine the landscape of this iconic district.

Former BJP corporator from Colaba, Makarand Narwekar, a key proponent of the initiative, emphasised the restoration of the area's historic charm. "The idea was to bring back the old world charm of the place. Once the project is complete, the plan is to make these streets exclusive to pedestrians," Narwekar told the reporters.

The selected streets, including Forbes Street, Rope Walk Lane, Saibaba Road, Rutherfield Street, and B Bharucha Road, weave through the heart of Kala Ghoda, connecting its vibrant tapestry of eateries, shops, art galleries, and iconic landmarks such as the renowned Rhythm House.

Senior BMC officials from Ward A revealed that tenders for the project have already been floated, marking the first steps towards the realisation of this transformative endeavour. "Our plan is to upgrade and beautify five internal streets at Kala Ghoda to make them pedestrian-friendly. We have already floated the tenders to appoint the consultant who will execute the designs," stated Jaydeep More, assistant municipal commissioner.

The comprehensive plan encompasses landscaping, wall painting, and illumination works, with the Urban Design & Architecture Initiative (UDAI) spearheading the urban design aspect of the project.

Looking ahead, the BMC aims to restrict vehicular access to these streets entirely, facilitating unencumbered pedestrian movement and fostering a conducive environment for heritage appreciation. Addressing concerns regarding parking, consultants assured that alternative arrangements are being explored, albeit as part of a phased approach.

Rishi Aggarwal, founder of the Walking Project, lauded the initiative while emphasising the necessity of coordination with local establishments. "For now, to make the streets more pedestrian-friendly, the BMC can start heavily penalising vehicles parked in these lanes," Aggarwal suggested.

While reminiscent of a previous initiative in 2016, which temporarily closed Kala Ghoda's roads on Sundays, the current project marks a more permanent and comprehensive transformation. Furthermore, consultants emphasised that the revamped streets would remain accessible to heavy vehicles during emergencies, ensuring public safety.

With Kala Ghoda poised to undergo a metamorphosis into a thriving art avenue, hosting year-round events and celebrations, the BMC eyes replicating similar pedestrian-friendly initiatives across other prominent locations, including Colaba's Regal Junction.

As Mumbai prepares to witness the rejuvenation of one of its most cherished cultural precincts, the pedestrianisation of Kala Ghoda heralds a new chapter in the city's urban narrative, blending heritage preservation with contemporary vibrancy.