PDP when handed over to the Malabar Hill Citizen in 1985
PDP Now in 2012
It was in the 1970's that the Government of Maharashtra had planned to reclaim the vast area of land from Raj Bhavan to Haji Ali and construct skyscrapers making the area into a concrete jungle. Shri B A Desai, along with some prominent citizens of Mumbai like Shri Rajni Patel, Shri B K Karanjia, Mr Murli Deora, Mr R H Dastoor, Mr Ajit Malkani formed "Save Breach Candy Committee" and under its auspices of led protest marches and also held a cricket match to stop the land reclamation. This movement led to the creation of the Malabar Hill Citizens' Forum. The movement was successful and the reclamation was stopped. But in the meantime, several builders who had an eye on the substantial reclaimed land on which they wanted to build skyscrapers, pestered Shri B A Desai for the land. The area was already being used for nefarious activities like illicit breweries and was a smuggler's den. But Shri B A Desai, in his capacity as MLA, resisted all these efforts, and at his instance, the said land was handed over to the Malabar Hill Citizens' Forum in 1985. From a stinking junkyard-cum-smugglers paradise with a surface worse than the lunar surface, the Malabar Hill Citizens' Forum worked hard to develop the land into a glorious park-cum-garden-cum-sports centre. Have a look below at how the land looked, before the Malabar Hill Citizens' Forum developed it into the beautiful Priyadarshini Park and Sports Complex as we know it now.
Priyadarshini Park Sports Complex is now one of the most prestigious parks and unique sports complex at Napeansea Road in Mumbai. It blends sports with nature including the Sea. This spot has now convenient bus connections with Eastern and Western suburbs. Hence people from all over Mumbai and suburbs visit here comfortably.
Such a complex with an ambience of the sea is perhaps not available in the whole of India. Thousands of people visit the park and avail of the Jogging-cum-Walking track daily right from the morning 5:00 am to evening 9:00 pm. Entry to the Priyadarshini Park is totally free unlike many other Parks. The area of the park is 20,008 meters and at least ten thousand people from ministers to common men visit the park every day.
There are the various developments made at PDP which have made the Priyadarshini park and Sports Complex a unique place, much more than just a park or just a sports centre. It has something to offer people of all ages, temperaments and interests.
The Malabar Hill Citizens' Forum is planning to provide a Sea Walk right from the existing one at Priyadarshini Park on Napean Sea Road to Amarson's Park on Bhulabhai Desai Road. This Sea Walk is aimed at not only checking the illegal reclamation and encroachments of the sea shore, but will also provide a beautiful promenade wide enough for people to walk on. Subsequently, the promenade will also be beautified and there will be seats where people can rest and relax.
The plans to take the promenade from PDP to Amarson's Park has been cleared in principle by the Minister of Environment of Maharashtra.
The length of the said promenade is proposed to be 2,063 metres. It will be around six feet wide and the height will vary according to site conditions. Technical assistance will be made available by well known architect Shashi Prabhu and Prof Ramakant Jha from IIT Powai.
In the 1970's, when the Government of Maharashtra wanted to reclaim the land from Raj Bhavan to Haji Ali and construct skyscrapers making the area into a concrete jungle, that Shri B A Desai, along with some prominent citizens of Mumbai like Shri Rajni Patel, Shri B K Karanjia, Mr Murli Deora, Mr R H Dastoor, Mr Ajit Malkani formed "Save Breach Candy Committee" and under its auspices of led protest marches and also held a cricket match to stop the land reclamation. It was this movement that led to the birth of the Malabar Citizens' Forum. The Malabar Hill Citizens' Forum is a registered Charitable Trust established under the leadership of Shri B A Desai. It is this Trust that has developed reclaimed barren land as "Priyadarshini Park Sports Complex" and has been maintaining it. The Park has been developed in consonance with the Philosophy of the Park and the active co-operation of Central Government, State Government, Brihan Mumbai Municipal Corporation and the Corporate Bodies. In fact, this park is an ideal example of the work done with the co-operation of NGO, Local Self Government, State and Central Government and the Corporate Bodies.