Monday, 25 March 2013

Kharghar- A Promising City of Navi Mumbai

It has been more than 15 years since I last heard that airport was coming at Kharghar.

Many of my relatives, who stay in Pune, were super excited that they would have a shorter distance to travel and some even told me that they might not stop by my place at Bandra, (which they normally do) before continuing their journey to Pune. Some have even invested their money in the real estate, for the better prospects in the future.

The airport was to be built in 2008, but the residents of Kharghar are still paused in a dream. First, it was the villagers unhappy with the compensation provided by CIDCO, later the Ministry of Environment and Forests said that the airport was destroying mangroves.

Whatever the reasons, the city of Kharghar has come to life.

The roads are broad and a pleasure to drive.

I visited my friend last week; she has an apartment on the 14th floor of the high-rise building

The view is spectacular with the backdrop of hills and greenery. Friend informs me that she loves the monsoon season when a majestic waterfall flows from the top of the hills into a rock pool and flowing streamlets.

From her window I could see the large open space of a central park and a golf course that has 18holes and is stretched over 6526metres, 7137yards. Golf course at Kharghar was inaugurated by NCP chief Sharad Pawarji, in the year 2012.

Kharghar Valley is located on the Mumbai-Pune highway (NH 4) and is less than an hour away from Mumbai city.

All my friends and relatives always visit me, whenever they reach Mumbai. They continue their journey to Pune after a day of rest. I have good time listening to their stories of the travel and of family news. The bond becomes stronger with their every visit.

But after the new airport at KharGhar is ready, I am sure I will miss all these little pleasures of life….

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

BMC in the year 1890

The beautiful architecture of Bombay Municipal Corporation opposite CST in the year 1890, when there was few people on the road, no traffic and no Victoria terminus. Just wide broad roads for miles and miles.

1890 was the year when Robert Harris, 4th Baron Harris arrived to take over as Governor of the Presidency of Bombay.  He served as Governor of the Presidency of Bombay in British India from 1890 to 1895. His appointment was not universally well regarded, with one anonymous writer penning a poem expressing the hope that Bombay would not suffer too greatly from Harris' political inexperience. His governorship was notable mainly for his enthusiastic pursuit of the sport of cricket amongst his fellow Europeans in the colony, at the expense of connecting with the native population.

 When the interracial Bombay riots of 1893 broke out, Harris was out of the city at Ganeshkind enjoying cricket matches. He returned to Bombay only on the ninth day of rioting, and then primarily to attend a cricket match there. Many later writers credited Harris with almost single-handedly introducing and developing the sport in India. The game was, however, well established among the natives before his arrival.

 Furthermore, in 1890, he rejected a petition signed by over 1,000 locals to relocate European polo players to another ground so that the locals could use the area for cricket matches. It was only in 1892 that he granted a parcel of land to the newly formed Mahomedan Gymkhana for a cricket field, adjacent to land already used by the Parsi Gymkhana.

 When Harris left India, having virtually ignored famine, riots and sectarian unrest, a publisher circulated a collection of newspaper extracts from his time as governor.

 The introduction stated:Never during the last hundred years has a Governor of Bombay been so sternly criticised and never has he met with such widespread unpopularity on account of his administration as Lord Harris.

The name "Bombay" was derived from 'Bom Bahia' (The Good Bay),

.... a name given by Portuguese sailor Francis Almeida, in 1508 ....“Bounce back Mumbai” it is called by the locals, it is a city that has been through a lot in the recent past – floods, bomb blasts, riots – and come out stronger each time.

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