Mumbai Current Affairs
Maharashtra Government has appointed Bollywood actor Raveena Tandon as the brand ambassador of Mumbai city-based Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP). She was appointed to spread awareness among fellow citizens as she is environmentally-conscious citizen and respected member of the community. As brand ambassador, she will help state forest department to create awareness about its various initiatives, like 50 crore tree plantation drive, eco-tourism in SGNP and conservation of leopards in SGNP, among others.
Sanjay Gandhi National Park
It protected area near Mumbai in Maharashtra. It was formerly known as Borivali National Park (renamed to present name in 1996, after Sanjay Gandhi, eldest son of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.). It is notable as one of the major national parks existing within metropolis limit and is one of the most visited parks in the world.
It is spread over are of 103 sq.km in heart of Mumbai city and surrounded by population of 20 million people. It is part of Western Ghats biodiversity and forms roughly 205 of Mumbai’s geographical area. It is home to more than 274 species of birds, 35 species of mammals, 78 species of reptiles and amphibians, 170 species of butterflies and over a staggering 1,300 species of plants. Kanheri Caves, 2000 year old complex of some 160 rock-cut caves (was important Buddhist learning centre) is situated within national park and is protected archeological site.
Two building clusters of Victorian Gothic and Art Deco architectural styles in Mumbai, Maharashtra were jointly inscribed in UNESCO World Heritage List. The decision was taken during 42nd session of UNESCO World Heritage Committee (WHC) in Manama, Bahrain. This recognition will push country’s financial capital high on global cultural map.
Recognised Structures are
This is first world heritage site that flaunts combination of 19th Century Victorian Gothic structures and 20th Century Art Deco buildings. The ensemble of two building clusters recognized from Mumbai consists of 94 buildings primarily of 19th century Victorian Gothic revival and early 20th century Art Deco style of architecture.
Victorian buildings of Mumbai that have earned recognition, forms part of larger Fort precinct and are situated to east of Oval Maidan. These public buildings, include Old Secretariat (1857-74), University Library and Convention Hall (1874-78), Bombay High Court (1878), Public Works Department Office (1872), Watson’s Hotel (1869), David Sasoon Library (1870), Elphinstone College (1888), Prince of Wales Museum (now Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya), Maharashtra Police Headquarters, and NGMA (National Gallery of Modern Art). The buildings of Art Deco structures that have earned recognition includes building of first row of Marine Drive, Regal and Eros Cinemas, Ram Mahal along Dinshaw Wacha Road, Cricket Club of India and Buildings of Backbay Reclamation scheme.
This is third such honour for Mumbai after Elephanta Caves and majestic Victoria Terminus (rechristened Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station) which had earned coveted tag in 1987 and 2004 respectively. With this, Mumbai has equal number of World Heritage sites as Delhi, which has three — Red Fort, Qutub Minar and Humayun’s Tomb.
With this, the count of World Heritage Sites in India has now risen to 37, of which 29 are cultural, seven natural and one mixed site. It makes India sixth ranked country in the list of world heritage properties. With five sites, Maharashtra has maximum number of world heritage sites in India, including Ajanta and Ellora caves in Aurangabad and Mumbai has three.