Mumbaikars will soon be able to camp overnight on a beach in Mumbai

Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) is making plans to organise nightlong camps at Erangal seashore in Malad. It is a part of its initiative to enhance tourism alongside the city’s shoreline.

MTDC owns an 18-acre plot at Erangal seafront, which it plans to enhance for tourism. MTDC’s Managing director, Ashutosh Salil stated, “There are plans to have an option for citizens to explore the beach with overnight camps organised at the Erangal beach. Along with the overnight camp, we also plan to have sand bikes for tourists.”

State tourism minister, Aaditya Thackeray visited Erangal seaside last week, with officers from the tourism branch and MTDC. He stated, “The pristine place will soon have a place for Mumbaikars and tourists alike to enjoy eco-friendly outings.”

The beach is named after Erangal village, close to Madh island. The community consists of Kolis, East Indians and Roman Catholics. The 16th-century St Bonaventure Church, constructed by the Portuguese is a popular attraction here. Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) intends to build bridges from Madh island to Versova and Marve to Manori island. This will be a big boost for the real estate in Erangal.

It is not determined yet if the project would make use of a public-private partnership, mentioned Salil. “If we are planning to have overnight camps, we will require other supporting infrastructure. This all will be planned on the plot owned by MTDC. Now, whether we give our plot on lease or we adopt a public-private partnership model for such facilities is something that we will have to study, and we will also be seeking permission from the state cabinet for the same,” he said” he added. MTDC also plans to build a resort the 25 acre plot the corporation owns on owns on Manori beach.

Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) in 2018, had proposed similar plans for the Kanhoji Angre islands. The island is owned by the Trust. Plans mentioned semi-paved pathway, a trekking pathway, bio-toilets and several other facilities and camps to enhance tourism. The plan however did not materialise. The island is about 23km south of Gateway of India right at the entrance to Mumbai’s harbour.

There were similar plans for Aksa beach as well in 2018. The Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB) had proposed to start water sports however the coastline was deemed unsuitable.