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    Dream Marol project seeks to provide a sustainable clean, green and liveable environment to Marolkars

    By: Vivek Pai

    Twitter: @the_news_21

    Mumbai: In a city like Mumbai, where there are so many issues that need attention, it is normal to expect the state government to come and solve all our problems. But, due to the vastness of the city, sheer number of issues and the amount of chaos, it is almost impossible for the state government of the day or the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to be everywhere and solve everything!

    In such a situation, it is up to us, the citizens, to come together to solve their own problems and change our surroundings and this is exactly what ‘Dream Marol’ is about! 

    What started with a bunch of Marolkars, coming together under the leadership of Suresh Nair, it is now a thriving community of more than 1,000 Marolkars divided into 7 zones with dedicated WhatsApp groups and weekly meetings. Together they decided to prepare a plan to transform the area of Marol within a period of next 3 years.

    Marol, which is a part of the suburban region of Andheri in North-West Mumbai has two metro lines passing through it, and an airport within 3.5 kms radius, and is centrally located in Mumbai. 

    Marol like any other areas has typical problems like inadequate drainage systems, haphazard garbage collection, lack of proper footpaths, encroachments, lack of public toilet facility etc.

    Even though Marol is equipped with some basic infrastructure and has a great mix of population in terms of diversity it is important to have other factors which give a decent quality of life, like a clean and sustainable environment. Focus is on creating smart solutions in combination with citizen’s participation to achieve the goal of creating a clean, green, plastic-free and a more liveable Marol!

    The project also looks at providing public information, grievance redressal, electronic surveillance, waste to compost, 100% treatment of wastewater, monitoring water quality, renewable source of energy, smart parking, intelligent traffic management system, creation of sufficient open spaces, gardens and play areas at the local level.

    The ultimate success of Dream Marol is to ensure involvement and engagement of every part of the society including residential, commercial societies, slum dwellers, hawkers, rickshaw/taxi drivers’ unions, sweepers, schools and basically every resident of Marol. 

    Early engagement with local establishments like schools, colleges, hospitals, businesses as well as religious institutions, politicians and social workers early has been a key factor for this project. It was decided early that this movement would be apolitical and religiously agnostic, due to which it was welcomed with open arms by all the locals.

    Awareness campaigns, engagement with school children through design competitions and lectures were the first part of Dream Marol as the common agreement was that children and school teachers can play a big part in bringing about this change.

    As a first major project, Dream Marol has planned a Marathon and Cleanliness drive on January 29 (Sunday) which is expected to have over 1500 participants and is partnered with local businesses and establishments to ensure that the event is a complete success. Through this event, Dream Marol expects to create an awareness about health and cleanliness thereby creating more responsible, healthier Marolkars and a more Liveable Marol. 

    This is an interesting experiment of a bottom-up initiative of Urban Planning and with the right partners, and right projects this would definitely become a replicable model for the rest of the city and the country at large. 

    About the author: Vivek Pai is an Urban and Transportation Planner working on large scale government and private infrastructure projects.


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