Industry experts have an undoubted belief that there is a great opportunity to make Mumbai as an best in class international cruise terminal. At a day-long conference organized by the Urban Development Committee of the Indian Merchants’ Chamber (IMC) in association with Apli Mumbai titled “Mumbai’s PortLands – from Vision to Action”, this was shared by Mr. Sanjay Bhatia, Chairman MbPT while addressing. Complete transparency in functioning and consultation with all stakeholders as well as coordination of all government bodies involved had to be maintained at all stages of the development of the Portlands. However, many issues pertaining to the ease of doing business also need to be simultaneously resolved. There is a need to generate financial resources from within the system rather than looking outside it. The creation of a separate department of Portland development was being considered. Based on the draft plan for the development of the Portlands, MbPT will prepare an economic and financial project report. In this context, the monetization of land as in CIDCO projects may be considered. The development of infrastructure may take two to four years, depending on the speed of receiving the necessary clearances.
In his remarks Mr. Ashishkumar Chauhan, MD, BSE, said that tourism and fisheries is an important part of the Indian economy today, which contributes to the GDP even more than the manufacturing sector. There is a need for it to be developed in a systematic manner. If well developed, the PortLands area can even compete with the BKC as a leading office centre in Mumbai. With some planning and vision, London and New York have converted themselves into leading tourism centres and there is no reason Mumbai’s can’t do the same.
Speaking on the theme of the Conference, Ms. Meera Sanyal, Chairperson Urban Development Committee, IMC, said that just two years ago Mumbaikars thought that the PortLands were the dark spots of the country. However, the dark veil over the PortLands has been gradually lifted with progressive public policies. However, a lot more needs to be done. In this context, the Rani Jadhav document is very well done and needs to be made more available in the public domain. We need to integrate the development of the PortLands with that of Mumbai city via physical connections. The development of fisheries, tourism, wellness and recreation are all interlinked and they all can be simultaneously achieved through the development of the PortLands. The Conference would attempt to combine all inputs and present them to the policymakers.
In his welcome remarks IMC President Mr. Dilip Piramal said that both the Urban Development Committee of the Indian Merchants’ Chamber, and the APLI Mumbai citizens’ forum have been constantly championing the redevelopment of the PortLands, as a unique opportunity to revive and rejuvenate Mumbai city. Young entrepreneurs from Mumbai are migrating to the rest of the country and the world. The development of the Portlands would help stem some of the flow of this talent. He added that Mumbai needed bureaucrats like Mr. Bhatia to make a tangible difference to the socioeconomic conditions of the metropolis.