One of my major goals in 2020 was to complete this Mumbai series of blogs. And over the last seven weeks, we have achieved a new milestone. I want to thank each and every one of you who have read and shared the blogs and extended your support. The Time Machine Project in which we discuss the evolution process of cities comes to the final part of this season where we discuss the post-industrial effect of the city and how the shift from mills to malls happened.
In an overview, we learned about the forts in Mumbai, then how these ‘seven islands created a flux’. We also saw how mills came and how because of mills we saw a settlement of chawls which was an integral part of the city.
As space, we never term it as stagnant. It is a living organism, which keeps on growing. In terms of cities, they have the same behavior. To understand the behavioral changes in the space we need to understand first that space is always associated with a function. Now, this function determines the nature of the city. For example, during the colonial era when mills were there in the city, it’s the ‘industrial era’. Where the whole city is associated with the production of some material. In the post-industrial era of the city was going to serve as a nodal center for the global economy.
In the previous blog, we understood the myths of sickness which was quite a structured and framed way for getting away from a situation without thinking of the consequences of the mill workers. Now this “deindustrialization of the city” moved in many different directions where on one side it opened gates for MNCs to be part of the economic ecosystem, proposals of new city centers like Bandra-Kurla, Vasai – Virar and Navi Mumbai.
The new Development Control Rules of 1991, framed by Sharad Pawar’s Congress Government in the state, in response to structural adjustment policies of liberalization and echoing the dictates of global and domestic capital, permitted the sale of 15% of the land of textile mills. The new regulation in urban land-use rules repealed the older zoning regulations which earmarked land for either industrial, commercial or residential uses, and governed patterns of employment and ensuring their long-term stability and overall design to the metropolis.
The Charles Correa Committee Report, commissioned by the BJP-Shiv Sena Government in 1996 to suggest an overall scheme for the redevelopment of the mill areas, has never been released to the public. The mill lands continued to be plundered under the BJP-Sena rule and the government continued to appoint committees, announce plans, and vacillate as the problem festered. The proceeds from this 15% of the land of Bombay’s 58 mills were intended to be reinvested in the reserved industrial areas of the mill compound, while in fact the mills are being demolished.
The 1991 DC Rules were thus further retreated of the state from the regulation of urban development under pressure from “market forces” = profiteering by not only builders and businessmen, but corrupt politicians, bureaucrats, and their agents. Responsibility for monitoring this market-oriented redevelopment is entrusted not to the legally accountable agencies of the state, but to private banks and financial institutions. The undervaluation of the land by the millowners – in some cases by more than 50 crores – in their reports goes unchallenged.
The plight for the mill workers and the murder of the mills is but a notorious example of a larger crisis in urban planning, most recently manifest in the imposition of numerous fly-overs and bridges all over the city approved by the BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation) against the warning of the MMRDA (Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority) and consultants about the enormous environmental and social damage these new constructions would bring. This critical situation in our city calls for more rather than less intervention and planning, more participation by concerned individuals and groups, rather than a retreat into the interior world of comforting consumerism with which the new economy entices us.
Development is not an inevitable, uncontrollable process that has its own objective logic, But a political process that must be responded to politically.
Though these fancy malls you visit may create an illusion of luxury this has come over a cost. A cost that thousands of people have given.
Is it worth the sacrifice?
What would have happened if mills still would have been there??
Could there be any other option through which this transition of mills to malls could have been done without hampering people’s livelihood???
Now that the mall culture is also dying what would be the next shift??
Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below.
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SOURCES AND REFERENCES USED:
Murder of the Mills: A Case Study of Phoenix Mills – Shekhar Krishnan, Neera Adarkar
Gentrification in the mill land areas of Mumbai city: A case Study – Dwiparna Chatterjee
Cityscape metamorphosed – “indications of spatial transformation in Lower Parel, Mumbai” – Sujayita Bhattacharjee
55 thoughts on “Transformation of Mumbai: Mills to Malls”
Well I guess on the long run development takes it’s course. We’ve seen slums changed to Mega-city and previous residents displaced. In this case, this is a means of income which makes it difficult and painful at the same time. Job loss and the economy backlash.
Maybe they could’ve considered a 50-50 instead of ruining the mills.
I totally agree with your 50-50 approach, that could have worked properly. Thank you for your reply. Appreciate your effort.
I am intrigued with the view of cities as living organisms that change with time. I am going to think that philosophy over for a while. Thank you!
Thanks anne. Its a metaphor which came to my mind while researching about the topic. Hope you like the blog.
I do like it, very thought proviming AR!!
I really really enjoyed reading this Mohsin. In fact all of your posts.. I loved it!! I read it from the beginning (as promised)… The way you weave it out is absolutely amazing!
Hey aathmana i am glad to see you back. And i am glad that you liked it. I hope you stay tuned for our future blogs and keep supporting. Thank again for your kind words.
Awesome information. Thanks for sharing! Now you have one regular visitor to your site for new topics.
Hey john thank you so much. Feel free to share the blog with your friends.
Hey sorry daniel i wrote your name incorrect. I hope you don’t mind that. Apologies
Hey sorry Daniel i wrote your name incorrect. Apologies. I hope you don’t mind that.
Thank you so much shivani
Dear Mohsin Sheikh, Thank you for following my blog; feedback and inputs are welcome! The topics you have covered in your blog are of interest to me too, so you can be assured that I will read them, and I look forward to many more blog posts from you. Good luck and best wishes!
Thank you kirana mam. I am glad you liked the topics i hope you like the blogs also. And yes i ll definitely read your blogs and if theres any feedback i ll surely give you. Happy blogging.
Thank you for following my blog ! Your topic is interesting !!
Thank you so much.
Thanks for giving the insight into the factors which led to closure of textile mills other than the trade union strike. Development should not come at the cost of livelihood.
Your welcome sadhana. Thank you for your kind words.
Your blog is so amazing. I have nominated you for the Real Neat Blogger Award.
Check it out here.
My new post.
Hi there I see you are already nominated for a blogger award, just shows you we like your blog! I have nominated you for the Liebster Award. If you go over to my blog you will find the award. I hope you accept my nomination but if it is not your thing I totally understand. Have a great weekend.
Hey morag thanks, i hope i can call you that. Thank you for giving the opportunity. I ll post my nomination soon.
Thank you, yes definitely you may call me Morag, I will look forward to your response. No pressure when you are ready.
Thanks saania. I hope you dont mind me calling that. Pleasure is all mine.
My pleasure! I’ve been to Mumbai! ✨
How was your experience in mumbai, i know its a chaotic city but alot of culture and heritage you might have observed.
I honestly loved it, the people were so nice and the food was lovely. 💕
If you are foodie person i have a list of things which you should definitely try when you visit mumbai next. Also, there are alot more eating places in ramzan which open up.
I am definitely a foodie! I’ll be sure to ask you the next time I visit Mumbai.
Thank you for this insightful observation of organic city existence. I wish we could really learn to apply such lessons of how cities grow and evolve through time, for better living for everyone. Your studies undoubtedly will contribute to this work, and I look forward to following your blog! Thank you for following my blog, too. Please stay blessed!
This comment itself motivates me to write more such blogs. Thanks alot susan means alot. Feel free to share it with your friends and family.
Thank you so much luisa. I hope you had a great time reading.
🙏 🌹 🙏
Something similar took place in Philadelphia, PA. Small plants of various kinds had been present in the city, providing jobs to the unskilled and allowing workers to walk to work. Zoning meant to benefit the city drove manufacturing out. Jobs were lost. Neighborhoods deteriorated, leaving pockets of poverty that have remained ever since.
In New York City, itself, the highway system installed by Robert Moses in the 1930s and 1940s greatly disrupted neighborhoods and negatively impacted the subway system. The urban blight of the South Bronx has become a permanent fixture.
I think whenever a city goes through a transformation phase some areas are affected and this is global phenomenon i guess. Thanks for sharing this fact. Loved this piece of information.
Thanks for following my site; you are very kind.
fascinating! wish i could see mumbai with my own eyes. hopefully next year, when the pandemic has simmered down. thanks for following my blog, my friend!
Mumbai is rich in heritage, i am sure you ll enjoy your visit. Your welcome.
so looking forward to it, my friend! maybe next year.
A thought provoking article Mohsin. Development is happening every where and we can’t stop it but can’t we sit and plan something which can connect all segments of society.
Rightly said deeksha.
Coming up next after malls would be wonderfully built garden and parks. That’s my assumption. But that doesn’t seem to be possible in Mumbai.
Maybe coastal roads and metro will be taking more footage in my feed i guess
Of course that’s what’s coming up as we see but I really mentioned the parks because I feel there’s toooo much of construction going on and seems like we live in a concrete jungle. I wish there were wonderful parks for people to breath in some fresh air.
Are you also from mumbai, definitely parks are important and this is where we lack. We need some balance from the concrete jungle.
Ohh that’s so nice to hear. Where in mumbai
Nice post Mohsin. Mumbai has been plundered because of the greed and shirt sightedness of its leaders during a brief period in its history. Ordinary citizens are paying the price of that
Wrote a short blog titled ‘space on the city’ about the loss of space in Munbai. Sharing link below. Do read when you can
Amazing post. Thanks for recommending.
Sir i have a idea.
That why wouldn’t reoablic bharat should start a show like aap ki adalat
In a coffee with karan like manner