Big plans in pipeline to give Mumbai a face lift !

If a government appointed panel succeeds in implementing its plans for the redevelopment of Mumbai's mostly derelict dockland, people in the world's second most densely populated city will experience a rare opportunity to lift their spirits and enjoy their city. Owned by the Mumbai Port Trust, much of the seven sq.kms of the docklands that is up for redevelopment, is occupied today by crumbling warehouses, informal housing and workers who eke out a living breaking disused ships or sorting scrap metal. The government has valued the land at $12 billion and is pitching the project as a shining example of what urban regeneration in India should look like. According to Narinder Nayar a businessman who is on the panel, Mumbai should be looking at the examples of New York, London, Sydney and Barcelona to see what can be done with Mumbai's former industrial areas on the waterfront. Nayar says the panel will recommend that some 30 percent of the land be opened as public space with the construction of a hospital and affordable housing linked by new train lines. There are also plans for a floating hotel and convention centre and a tender is out to build a luxury marina to cater to the super-rich. With its natural harbour Mumbai or Bombay as it was called, was rapidly developed during British colonial times and much of today's city sits on reclaimed land that joined up a sting of tiny islands off India's western coast.