Sunday, April 29, 2007

Uprooted !

Work at Mira Road station is in full swing. Everyday you see overnight changes these days as you walk to the station!

The nearby stalls were already removed a month back making the surrounding spacious for the new tracks and extended platform.

The additional new overbridge for the new tracks was completed a few days back and people have already started using it.

The gutter/ swamp over which thick broad planks were placed so that people could walk to the station has been cleaned and covered with stones (as the new lines will pass over it). The planks are still there coz an alternate route is not yet made. The swamp / gutter has been shifted ahead (coz it can't be sealed completely). People know the hazards of fully closing streams/ swamps/ mini rivers flowing through your city after the 27th July aftermath. Who can forget the fury of the Mithi river? Already projects to calm the Mithi are underway. Tunnels are being built under roads so that the Mithi can flow in peace. As of now many roads under which the Mithi passes, are dug deep till you can see the river underneath. Guess a similar tunnel or pipe will be made for the swamp/ stream close to Mira Road station. The entire swamp has now been cleaned and exposed congesting the road near the station. But all this is for a better future.

The latest surprise came when we reached station yesterday morning for going to work. A huge structure which was a major contribution to Mira Road's skyline was uprooted and felled. For those who've seen the station as it was earlier will clearly remember what struck them as soon as they reached there. Yes, the two big towers which was like a gate to Mira Road and had SHANTINAGAR written in Bold Steel plating on it, is no longer there. It was a massive structure and a contribution of Ajmera Builders which initially developed Mira Road for the lower income group people as per Govt's directives. The area came to be called ShantiNagar. Later as Muslims moved to the area looking for security after 1993 Hindu Muslims riots in Mumbai, the other side of Mira Road started developing and came to be called Naya Nagar. More builders came in the area, though the most prominent was/ is Asmita Builders which is owned by the Corporator of the area, Muzaffar Hussain. All that is a different story. I will take it up later some day.

But since Mira Road is now mainly divided into Naya Nagar and Shanti Nagar, the huge gate was discrimatory in a way! It failed to recognise the existence of Naya Nagar! I don't know when the black granite towers were erected. I've seen it ever since I first saw Mira Road some years back (earlier my life existed of South Mumbai only extending to Dadar at the most and very rare trips beyond to Bandra etc)! But now the twin towers are gone! It's made way for the new, just like life does. It keeps changing. So do our tastes, preferences, outlook over time.

Just last Saturday, I was thinking of clicking a snap (with my mobile phone) of Mira Road station as it was going through changes so that I could preserve the old snaps. But I was a fool not to do the same since I was damn tired! Never had I thought that such an important landmark would be uprooted overnight! And now I am trying to search for snaps of the structure as it stood before and cannot find the same anywhere. But this time I've managed to click the fallen structure from close quarters on Saturday (28th April, 2007). Maybe it will go down in the history of Mira Road.

While I was clicking, I thought why not click the Ticket Booking office too! With the New Booking Office coming over the new overhead bridge, even that might also be history!


samurai said...

hi shagufta,that s a brilliant article,it should be published,u ve got a great flair for describing things,it was really a good read.mumbai is a great place,ive been there twice,i stayed in dadar.i saw the recent ramgopalverma film with vinodkhanna,it was a good movie,when the cost of land is as high as in mumbai,criminality is born.and when such a large percentage of the population is scarcely making ends meet,politicians cant be anything but corrupt.i feel if mumbai returns to its marathi roots,it will be a turn for the better.not the strident type but an enlightened one.the riots were and are unpardonable.

Shagufta said...

Thanx thanx... I think u are the only one who reads my blog and truly appreciates it!
I always wanted to be a journalist or a feature writer. I detested banking. And look where I am and how! I used to write here n there and used to be appreciated by well known people too some years back (while in college and immediately after before getting a job!)
Fyi, Mira Road is just one station after Mumbai jurisdiction ends. It actually falls in Thane district though has its own Municipality alongwith Bhayander (Mira Bhayander Municipal Corpn). Its developed over the last few years since real estate was low here then because of only two railway lines and water prob. Now with things changing and the work in full swing for extra railway lines and water prob nearly resolved, real estate rates over the past 1-2 months are touching the skies here too!
Mumbai is best with its 'Cosmo' feel is wat I got to say! There's diversity here and unity to quite an extent.