Haji Ali set to get a ₹35-crore makeover

Waiting for facelift: An artist’s impression of the revamped Haji Ali dargah.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The State government wants to beautify the area around Haji Ali dargah at a cost of around ₹35 crore. The plan includes a revamp of the pathway leading to the shrine, a Mughal garden, beautification of the entrance, demolition of illegal shops, licensed shops and a healthcare centre.

The Bombay High Court, while hearing a petition by socio-legal and educational forum Sahayak Trust, had ordered the formation of a joint task force to remove encroachments on the approach road to the dargah.

In August 2017, the Supreme Court ordered authorities to take a final decision in the matter related to beautification of the dargah’s premises. It had directed the collector to take a final decision on the beautification plan submitted by the trust, either by accepting it or by modifying it. It had directed the authorities to place the plan before the SC Bench along with an affidavit and execute it before the end of that year.

Three years have passed but the plan has not yet been finalised. Authorities are hopeful it will be done soon. Mumbai City Guardian Minister Aslam Shaikh held a meeting with relevant officials on Wednesday in the matter and asked them to expedite the process of securing permissions and start execution.

“We have proposed beautification of the entire premises at a cost of ₹30 crore to ₹35 crore. The existing reclaimed area around the dargah will be utilised for creation of various amenities for the people so that visitors can pray and later spend time on the premises that overlooks the sea,” said Mr. Shaikh.

The plan consists of a Mughal-style garden, health centre, and a revamped entrance on the lines of a Buland Darwaza.

The existing pathway will be paved again and the premises will have a themed archway but the biggest challenge will be the demolition of unauthorised structures and creation of a vending zone. In 2017, 908 sq. m. of the premises were encroached upon.

“We are hopeful that we will get all the necessary permissions as the revamp was proposed in 2016. The shrine sees tourists from across the world and it is not only a religious site but also a tourist attraction. We want to streamline hawkers and demolish encroachments first. Hopefully, this plan will be approved soon,” said Mohammad Ahmed Tahir, administrative officer of the trust.

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Printable version | Oct 27, 2021 10:47:53 AM |

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