After the Mahim fort, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has now initiated the restoration and beautification of the Worli Fort in coordination with the State Archeological Department. On November 26, the civic body's G (south) ward (Worli, Lower Parel) floated a tender for the project, that will cost Rs 2 crore on the civic coffers.
Noted conservation architect Vika Dilwari is consulting the civic body on the restoration work of the fort. Whereas G5A foundation for contemporary culture has designed the landscape and illumination of the fort, informed Gurav.
The forts in Mumbai spread across the financial capital and its suburban areas withstood the ravages of time for centuries, but the rapid urbanisation, various development projects along with neglect from the concerned authorities has been threatening their existence.
Just last month, the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi in Maharashtra has decided to restore six of the forts of Mumbai, including Sewri Fort, Worli Fort, Bandra Fort, Dharavi Fort, Mahim Fort and St George.
Talking about the project Assistant Municipal Commissioner of G south Ward Sharad Ughade said. "Under the first phase of the restoration project, we will carry out civil work mostly. This includes restoration and repair of the bund wall of the fort. In a 10-metre open space, available landscaping will be done. A walkway of basalt stones will be constructed and along this walkway signages also on Basalt stones, depicting the history and important facts about Worli fort will erected." The project's first phase is expected to complete in a year.
In the second phase, the civic body is looking at clearing the encroachment in and around the fort premises. "The west and south side of the first are clear and have no encroachments. Encroachments are mostly on the east and north side of the fort, the same will be cleared as part of the second phase, " said Shivaraj Gurav, junior engineer of BMC’s G-south ward.
Ughade added, “There is a open gymnasium inside the fort that we will shift elsewhere. There are around eight to 10 huts in the 10-metre vicinity of the fort along with a public toilet. We will provide alternate accommodation to this too.”
The fort was temporarily illuminated during Diwali on an experimental basis. The permanent illumination work will be carried in and around the fort very soon. Apart from that, the civic body is looking at planting trees along the bund wall near the seaside, the officials said.