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A dream for Mumbai


A dream for Mumbai

By Shreegopal Kabra, President, Ram Ratna Group

While Mumbai is known as the financial hub of India, I sincerely believe that this city has the potential to be the Global Financial hub. However, lack of proper urban planning and infrastructure development has seriously hampered this dream.
Take for example the flyovers in Mumbai. The flyovers were constructed at a time when Mumbai was getting into the top gear post the wave of globalisation and economic liberation in the country. The objective behind the flyovers was to reduce the traffic bottlenecks of that time and make travelling faster. Unfortunately, there was no far-sight shown. The planners forgot that traffic expands to fill the space available for it. Moreover, at many places, the flyovers have actually added to the congestion rather than easing it. We needed better city planners and we still do.
Secondly, the development of infrastructure is closely linked with the development of the real estate sector. Proper planning as well as vision is required for these two developments to have synergy. If you look back, you will realise that the real estate growth in Mumbai happened as and when the requirement came and therefore infrastructure development could not keep pace with it. But let’s not remain arrested in the past. Let’s look to the future.
There is tremendous scope for redevelopment in Mumbai. Believe me, the potential is in millions of square feet of quality real estate. And this potential can be realised provided we take an integrated approach to development going ahead. Instead of the single units of cluttered causing residential and commercial buildings, we need to have a properly designed cluster approach.
Mumbai does have a lot of positives. It is very well connected with major cities in India as well as world-over. Thanks to its being a key point across major road, rail and air networks. The city has the best of hotels. Moreover, all foreign banks have branches in Mumbai making monetary transactions from any part of the world possible. It is surrounded by several industrial hubs. Many of the country’s best corporates are headquartered in Mumbai. Add to this the immense talent pool and the famous spirit of Mumbai that sees it through any catastrophe.
Tell me, why can’t Mumbai become the Global financial hub?

As told to Niranjan Mudholkar

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