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Jan 14, 2013 at 10:00am IST

Mumbai's Marine Drive set for a makeover, to be converted into a concrete stretch

Mumbai: The queen's necklace and Mumbai's pride, the famous Marine Drive, is all set for a makeover. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has now decided to covert the landmark into a concrete stretch.

India's most famous city road is now showing wear and tear. Built in the 1940s, it was resurfaced last 40 years ago. The BMC, which is responsible for the road, has its excuses. Aseem Gupta, additional municipal commissioner, BMC, said, "This road is certainly very important and a symbol of Mumbai. There has been a delay but these were procedural delays."

There has been no shortage of plans to fix Marine Drive though. The latest, ratified by IIT Bombay, will cost Rs 120 crores. The entire 4.3 km long Marine Drive will now be concretised, the claim being, it will last longer. Earlier plans were to use asphalt. The resurfacing work is expected to begin after monsoon.

A big worry, however, remains the quality of work and the absence of big players. "Stringent pre-qualification condition will be there. Third party auditors will also monitor the work," Gupta said.

The Marine Drive restoration work would certainly be a litmus test for the civic body, especially keeping in mind the poor track record. Though the civic body is yet to begin the work, Mumbaikars hope that the fate of Marine Drive would not be like the other potholed roads of Mumbai.