The millionaire mile
The millionaire's mile, the serene tree-lined road that meanders through Cumballa Hill boasts of some of the most influential addresses in town. With the creme de la creme having called this home for decades and a number of consulates dotting its map - the residents of Carmichael and Altamount Roads are now getting ready to welcome their new neighbours. On the anvil are none other than Ratan Tata, Mukesh Ambani and Kumaramangalam Birla.
But will India's industrial heavyweights have any real effect on the neighbourhood? Shailesh Chedda, an Altamount Road resident, hopes, "With them moving in, we are assured that the neighbourhood will benefit. We will have cleaner footpaths and roads. And of course, better security."
And what of real estate prices? Property prices at Altamount and Carmichael Road have gone up by nearly 100 per cent in the last two years. Remarks Chetan Narain, director, Narain Corps, property consultants, "Carmichael and Altamount roads have always been the best locations in Mumbai. Compared to Malabar Hill, which is subjected to traffic and noise pollution, Cumballa Hill has very little of either. No one uses these roads to access other locations hence it's a residents/visitors only. There are no BEST buses, not too many shops and of course, no bazaars."
For Nikhil Shah, architect and resident of Carmichael Road, the presence of the movers and shakers "adds perception and premium value".
But all's not well in paradise. While residents are upbeat about their new neighbours there is also a concern that the existing infrastructure cannot support the burgeoning neighbourhood. Says Sanjay Ladiwala, secretary, Dahanukar Marg Residents Association, "With newer properties boasting of pools and other amenities, water shortage will only get worse."
Traffic congestion is also obviously likely to rise. Sighs Ladiwala, "There's lack of parking space and no scope for road widening at all here."
Compounding this is the still unresolved issue of access to the twin towers coming up at Tardeo. Estimates project another 1,200 cars plying through Carmichael Road if it's the designated entry to the towers. With residents failing to get the courts to ban access from their stretch, are the serene hills likely to add to Mumbai's traffic woes?
The area also houses
What's coming up
* Kumarmangalam Birla, managing director, AV Birla Group, has a just completed a bungalow at Carmichael Road.
* Construction is underway for a two-storey bungalow for Mukesh Ambani, chairman, Reliance Industries at Altamount Road.