Thursday, 26 August 2010

Marinas in Mumbai

On 25th Aug I came across this article in Mumbai Mirror where they envisioned new Marinas in several areas near Mumbai, such as Gateway, Mandwa, Girgaum chowpatti, Worli seaface, Revas, Mandwa, Alibag, Elephanta and Belapur in 2-3 years. It is about time. They say only the investor is missing.

Fishermen cooped up for monsoon in Mandwa

Meanwhile the media has totally forgotten that there is the perfect spot called Prince's dock that is being filled up soon to make way for the Mumbai Port trusts "planned" container terminal. At same time a part of Mumbai's heritage will be lost to the future generations forever and people will be able only to read about it in the history books. Perhaps that is what is called progress or evolution.

Boats being stored at Belapur

For example how many does remember the Bombay Explosion? That time it took 7 months to restore the docks into working condition, now they are willingly filling it up to make way for an absurd plan that only serves the MbPT's greed.

Map of Mumbai area with red spots marking the "marina" hotspots mentioned in the article

The 2-3 year time span for building a Marina seems very short in Indian terms, it only took 20 years to build the Bandra - Worli sealink after all political and legal hurdles were passed. I don't think a marina is going to make any difference in way of getting the political goodwill and permits to go ahead with such developments. There is always bound to be some goonda that crawls out from under a stone and presents his own angle and agenda to the project when he smells the crores in the air.

A bit up the river a private floating jetty of marina standard

It sounds very fatalistic but I've seen and read how things work in India and it is not nearly easy or smooth despite how much the wheels are greased up. Maybe the marina development will present another avenue for illegal sand dredging activities that are reported in newspapers.

Bottom line is that there is a growing yachting community in Mumbai area as Aashim Mongia says. If nothing is done to service this clientele they are going to find their own venues in more favorable locations and disappear from Mumbai (taking away the revenue and employment that could be generated). As I blogged earlier all yachties have had great difficulties finding monsoon storage for their boats since the Prince's dock was made unavailable.

Aashim Mongia of Westcoast Marine Services

Some boats went all the way down to Goa and some boats pooled together and rented a space in Belapur which is normally used for sand business and during these rainy months has been more of a mud pool than a boat yard. Few boats went down to Mandwa and beached their boats on mudflats during spring tide.

Lets hope the Mumbai Mirror article is the harbinger of change in attitude and the light at the end of the tunnel for the yachting fraternity in Mumbai.

Marinas, Parks and Recreation Developments: Proceedings of the International Conference : Milwaukee, Wisconsin June 26-30, 1994

Marinas: A Working Guide to Their Development and Design


Haresh said...

Mumbai with it's lovely coastline must have many marinas to encourage more people to buy modern fibre glass boats and roam the seas.I recommend the creek between Versova & Madh Island as an ideal marina.

CyberCaptain said...

Yes, there is potential for many marinas around Mumbai and in Maharashtra, I wish there would at least be one instead of the current none...