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Lessons from Navi Mumbai – A success story of sustainable urbanization

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By Subhankar Mitra

The idea of creating a new city as a counter magnet to Mumbai was originally envisaged in the Regional Plan of Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) in 1965. The actual planning process of this new city began in 1971 after the formation of CIDCO, a Government-owned company for development of cities.

The initiative was spearheaded by renowned architect Charles Correa and a specialist team of planners, including Shirish Patel, Pravina Mehta and Chief Planner R. K. Jha. Their vision was to create a combination of 14 mini towns or nodes, each to be provided with connectivity through well-designed roads, and later on through railway networks. Recently, the metro system was added to the original master plan.

Infrastructure such as water supply, power, sewerage and rain water discharge was meticulously designed. The concept of holding ponds helped in preventing the inundation of streets and buildings even during heavy monsoon rains. Thanks to this planned approach, the quality of infrastructure at Navi Mumbai today is much better than in most parts of Greater Mumbai.

Navi Mumbai was added as the last mega settlement zone of the MMR region in ‘70s; other cities and conurbations already existed prior to the creation of this satellite city. Today, Navi Mumbai’s success as a city is vouchsafed by its tremendous growth over time. In a span of four decades, it has not only caught up with the existing settlements but has also become the second-largest settlement city within MMR in terms of population share. In the last decade, Navi Mumbai has grown at an incredible speed of 88%, which is the highest growth rate in the region.

Despite its fast growth, Navi Mumbai continues to be defined by a spatial openness which cannot be found anywhere else in MMR. Even given its high growth rate and burgeoning population size, the population density in Navi Mumbai – about one-third of the density of Greater Mumbai – is the lowest among all cities in the MMR region. This is one of Navi Mumbai’s key defining aspects and biggest USP as a real estate market – the quality of life available in this city.

Navi Mumbai also ranks high in terms of social indicators like literacy rate, which is over 95% among its predominantly middle-income population, as well as social and civic infrastructure.

The success of Navi Mumbai can be largely attributed to the efficient integration of economic activities and infrastructure. Even before the development of the city, there were two major industrial clusters in existence here, namely TTC and Kalamboli. The new plan envisaged growth of a new commercial district at CBD Belapur, an IT and Technology node at Mahape, wholesale and retail activity at Vashi, etc. All these economic nodes were later on integrated with the residential nodes by way of road and railway networks, and a good public transport system.

As the human capital in the city grew, it started gathering strength in the knowledge sector as well. Today, the city boasts of many additional economic anchors such DAKC, Mind Space, Reliance Corporate Park and Siemens, to name a few. The only disappointment was CBD Belapur, which failed to attract the corporate sector from South Mumbai as initially envisaged. Today, CBD Belapur in fact faces huge competition from Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) in Mumbai.

What The Future Holds

Navi Mumbai is now poised at the next stage of transition, which is likely to be by way of expansion of its services sector. The city already has most key ingredients like good human capital, support infrastructure and land availability to become a strong service sector hub. What it lacks is faster and smoother connectivity with the existing commercial hubs of Greater Mumbai, particularly the suburbs. Without such linkage, there are definitely pitfalls to a smooth transition for Navi Mumbai’s economy.

There are two new major economic drivers are planned for Navi Mumbai – the proposed SEZs at Dronagiri, Ulwe and Kalamboli and the proposed international airport at Panvel. Both of these factors are expected to generate a massive amount of employment, providing a further impetus to the demand for commercial and residential developments.

The successive regional plans of MMR have laid emphasis on the further decongestion of Greater Mumbai. It is the high congestion premium that makes Greater Mumbai unaffordable, which is also under crushing pressure on its infrastructure, a victim to irreversible damage to its environment and overall degradation of quality of life.

The way forward for a more sustainable future of Greater Mumbai is to initiate a planning process that integrates it more closely and intensely with surrounding cities like Navi Mumbai. Only such measures will provide a vent-out for the crunched-up population out of the city.

Unfortunately, the proposed Development Plan of greater Mumbai (DP 2034) actually proposes a reversal of this concept. By increasing the FSI and diverting environment sensitive zones into ‘urbanizable’ zones, the message being sent is that decongestion of the city is not a priority anymore. For the larger benefit of the region, all DPs should be in line with the philosophy of the Regional Plan. The survival of Greater Mumbai will greatly dependent on the success of cities like Navi Mumbai.

(The author is a Local Director – Strategic Consulting, JLL India)

 

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Reliance JioMart Goes Live With its Official WhatsApp Number

Through the kiryana stores, Reliance is also planning to sell its own private labels under brand names such as Best Farms, Good Life, Masti Oye, Kaffe, Enzo, Mopz, Expelz and Home One

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Jio
According to media reports, JioMart is currently available in the suburban Mumbai areas of Navi Mumbai, Thane and Kalyan currently. However, the service is expected to be rolled out in rest of the country soon. Wikimedia Commons

After signing a massive $5.7 billion deal with Facebook, Reliance Industries latest venture to expand into the retail market, JioMart, has reportedly gone live with its official WhatsApp number.

According to media reports, JioMart is currently available in the suburban Mumbai areas of Navi Mumbai, Thane and Kalyan currently. However, the service is expected to be rolled out in rest of the country soon.

To order from JioMart, one simply need to add JioMart’s WhatsApp number 88500 08000 on their phones, and then JioMart will send a link to the user’s Whatsapp chat window which is valid for 30 minutes.

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By clicking on the link, the user will be directed to a new page where he/she has to fill his address and phone number. After filling out the necessary information, JioMart would show the customer a catalogue of all the available items.

Once placed, the order will be relayed to the local kirana store, along with the details of the customer. The customer on the other end, would receive the name of the kirana store to which the order has been dispatched, receiving the notification with the order and the kirana/JioMart store details on his number.

WhatsApp
After signing a massive $5.7 billion deal with Facebook, Reliance Industries latest venture to expand into the retail market, JioMart, has reportedly gone live with its official WhatsApp number. Pixabay

Through the kiryana stores, Reliance is also planning to sell its own private labels under brand names such as Best Farms, Good Life, Masti Oye, Kaffe, Enzo, Mopz, Expelz and Home One.

Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director, Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has said that in the near future, JioMart and Whatsapp will empower nearly 3 crore small Indian Kirana shops to digitally transact with every customer in their neighbourhood. “This means all of you can order and get faster delivery of day-to-day items, from nearby local shops,” Ambani said in a video message as he announced the Facebook partnership with Jio last week.

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He added that at the same time, small Kiranas can grow their businesses and create new employment opportunities using digital technologies. (IANS)

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Reliance Jio Introduces Voice and Video Calling Over Wi-Fi Service

Jio launches voice & video Wifi calling

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Reliance Jio announced the availability of nation-wide Voice and Video over Wi-Fi service. Pixabay

Taking on Airtel, Reliance Jio on Wednesday announced the availability of nation-wide Voice and Video over Wi-Fi service which will work on any Wi-Fi, anywhere in India and supports over 150 handset models.

The service makes crystal-clear voice and video calls through Wi-Fi at no additional cost.

“To further reinforce its customer-obsession and offer the best products and experience to its consumers, Jio today announced the launch of nation-wide Voice and Video over Wi-Fi service. Jio has been testing this service over the past few months, to provide a robust experience to every customer at launch,” the company said.

Wi-Fi video call
The service makes crystal-clear voice and video calls through Wi-Fi at no additional cost. Pixabay

The key differentiators that come with Jio Wi-Fi Calling are, Jio said, are that customers can use any Wi-Fi network for Jio Wi-Fi-calling and the voice and video calls will seamlessly switch-over between VoLTE and Wi-Fi to provide an enhanced voice/video-calling experience.

“Jio Wi-Fi calling works on the largest ecosystem of handsets. Jio customers can also make Video over Wi-Fi calls And all of this comes at no additional cost!” it said.

On the launch of this service, Jio Director Akash Ambani said: “At Jio, we are constantly innovating to enhance customer experience or solve their problems. At this juncture, when an average Jio consumer uses over 900 minutes of voice calls every month, and at a growing base of consumers, the launch of Jio Wi-Fi Calling will further enhance every Jio consumer’s voice-calling experience, which is already a benchmark for the industry with India’s-first all VoLTE network.”

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To enable Jio Wi-Fi Calling, a step-by-step guide has been made available on Jio.com/wificalling and Jio Wi-Fi Calling will be enabled pan-India between January 7 and 16, 2020, it said. (IANS)

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Reliance Jio Grabs Top Subscription Base Despite Voice Call Charges

The total number of wireless telecom subscribers rose to 118.34 crore in October from 117.37 crore in September

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Jio
Total wireless subscribers (2G, 3G and 4G) of Reliance Jio increased from 1,173.75 million at the end of September 2019 to 1,183.40 million at the end of October 2019, thereby registering a monthly growth rate of 0.82 per cent. Wikimedia Commons

Reliance Jio added over 91 lakh new subscribers in October, taking its total subscriber base to 36.43 crore, according to data released by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).

Interestingly, this increase in the number of subscribers for Jio comes although in the same month it announced to charge calls to other operators.

Reliance Industries (RIL), the parent company of Jio on October 9 that it will charge customers 6 paise per minute for voice calls made to other networks to compensate for the interconnect fee.

Further, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea also added to their subscriber base, which have for some time now have mostly reported loss of subscribers.

India’s largest operator in terms of subscribers, Vodafone Idea added nearly 1.9 lakh new customers during the period under review to its overall tally to around 37.27 crore. Around 81,974 subscribers were added by Bharti Airtel and its subscriber base by the end of October stood at 32.56 crore.

The total number of wireless telecom subscribers rose to 118.34 crore in October from 117.37 crore in September, the data showed.

Jio
Reliance Jio added over 91 lakh new subscribers in October, taking its total subscriber base to 36.43 crore, according to data released by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). Wikimedia Commons

“Total wireless subscribers (2G, 3G and 4G) increased from 1,173.75 million at the end of September 2019 to 1,183.40 million at the end of October 2019, thereby registering a monthly growth rate of 0.82 per cent,” said the TRAI statement.

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“Wireless subscription in urban areas increased from 659.18 million at the end of September 2019 to 662.92 million at the end of October 2019, and wireless subscription in rural areas also increased from 514.56 million at the end of September 2019 to 520.48 million at the end of October 2019. Monthly growth rates of urban and rural wireless subscription were 0.57 per cent and 1.15 per cent respectively,” it added. (IANS)

Lessons from Navi Mumbai – A success story of sustainable urbanization
Reliance JioMart Goes Live With its Official WhatsApp Number
Reliance Jio Introduces Voice and Video Calling Over Wi-Fi Service
Reliance Jio Grabs Top Subscription Base Despite Voice Call Charges