No room for vagrants: Space under JJ flyover to get art gallery, cafeteria, library | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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No room for vagrants: Space under JJ flyover to get art gallery, cafeteria, library

Dec 25, 2023 06:54 AM IST

The estimated cost of the project is around ₹13 crore. The district planning development committee (DPDC) has sanctioned ₹6.5 core out of this, while the remaining ₹6.5 crore will be pumped in by the BMC

Mumbai: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has floated a tender to remodel the area under the JJ flyover and station three scrapped BEST buses there that will host a cafeteria, a library and an art gallery, respectively. This is expected to put the area out of bounds for around 150-200 vagrants who currently live there, particularly around the Minara masjid and the central median of the flyover.

No room for vagrants: Space under JJ flyover to get art gallery, cafeteria, library
No room for vagrants: Space under JJ flyover to get art gallery, cafeteria, library

The estimated cost of the project is around 13 crore. The district planning development committee (DPDC) has sanctioned 6.5 core out of this, while the remaining 6.5 crore will be pumped in by the BMC. The estimated cost of remodelling the three BEST buses is 1 crore including goods and services tax.

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“Three old, double decker buses that have been scrapped will be remodelled into a cafeteria, an art gallery and a library, respectively. The buses will be stationed under the JJ flyover, but their location will be flexible,” said Uddhav Chandanshive, assistant commissioner, B ward.

The cafeteria-bus will be stationed between two pillars in such a way that it attracts the floating crowd. Three locations are being considered for it – near the JJ junction, near the Minara masjid on Mohammed Ali Road, and near the LT road junction close to Crawford market.

“The library will have a kid’s section with reading space, while for the art gallery, applied arts students from JJ college have been invited to display their work. Common people can also showcase their artwork in the bus,” said Chandanshive.

The project is being designed with an intention to keep vagrants at bay, said civic officials. “We have chosen a cross-section step design with protection grilles with dense vegetation cover on either side, so that there is no scope for encroachment. Even if someone approaches the space, they will not be able to inhabit it, “said an official.

Local MLAs Amin Patel from the Congress and Rahul Narwekar from the BJP – whose constituencies comprise 80% and 20% of the project area, respectively – are also involved in the project. Patel, who was involved in ideation on the revamp, said the area under the flyover is in a sorry state as it is encroached by drug peddlers and vagrants. “Furniture and sofas from chor bazar, even bathtubs, are dumped there and people bathe there. We are clearing those spaces for public utility,” said Patel.

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