26 Apr 2011


Nalasopara East

Nalasopara West

East Vs West.

Take ST buses from Nalasopara station and travel for a few minutes in opposite directions, this is what you see. Not that it's the Garden of Eden on the Western side towards the Sea. The truth is that Mumbai's growth is not pausing and it's just a matter of time before the West of Nalasopara, the site of Sopara, a trading city that's many centuries older than Mumbai is, is consumed by the city.

You would have seen, heard about the protests of villagers from Vasai Virar protesting the inclusion of their villages in the Vasai Virar Municipal Corporation last week. This is where they came from. The greener side.

The images seen above are from one such village - Bhuigaon. The farmers there do not want to be part of the city. They fear for their livelihood.

The interesting thing about this village is that they irrigate their fields using water from the pond (well) or Bhowkal as it is locally known, It's a traditional water storage and irrigation system maintained exclusively by the women. You would have tasted the fruits of their work. These irrigated farms supply bananas and vegetables to Mumbai.

To know more about these wells, here's a post I wrote for India Water Portal last week:


Debanish Achom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Debanish Achom said...

great shots. this is really good work you did. the pond irrigation method is also interesting. i hope they get to preserve the greens there. and continue living a way of life they are comfortable with.

Slogan Murugan aka M S Gopal said...

Time will tell. :(

ramani said...

i think debanish is being naive in his hope. people of nallasopara west do not matter in the larger scheme of things when india wants to be part of the jet set. since when did we bother with people who live a simple, sustainable lifestyle, when there is money to be made selling the land to developers? get real, india is shining! how i wish, though, that your hope comes true.
shocking pictures of nallasopara east, gopal. this is what n. west will look like a decade from now i guess if it is taken over.

Slogan Murugan aka M S Gopal said...

I have a writer friend in Bangalore, Srinath Perur. He writes short stories about Bangalore in the 80s. That was time when Bangalore was undergoing rapid transition not too different from what is seen here but at a slower pace.

He finds these places in transition, between city and village as a very interesting place to find stories and I agree. However, the sad part is that the stories are... sad.

At the individual level, we aspire to lift ourselves out the horrible weight of poverty and we are moving to the cities. Like in China. Collectively it looks like we are very greedy. Again like the Chinese. We are locusts and thoughts of sustainability etc. are thoughts far away from our minds for the moment. When time comes, we hope to spend and solve the problems with the wealth we create now in real estate.

Debanish Achom said...

there are still some pockets across the country we don't usually hear about, where people do live successfully and happily in a sustainable way. i have seen some small towns in the Northeast, and there are a few in the forests of Karnataka. but the problem is some smart businesspeople or the government will discover those places and do some messing up magic. that is what happens all the time. i hope these places survive.

zaphod beeblebrox said...

Thanks for linking to the post on India Water Portal. I saw this post somewhere else about a "foam river" in Bangalore. Pretty sad.

Will be maybe a decade before you see lots of people travelling from concrete jungles created by big business houses in Nallasopara. Will buy out all the land. Hopefully, the sellers will be compensated with a fair sum.

Slogan Murugan aka M S Gopal said...

The foam river of Bangalore is the Vrishabhavati river.


Zopad... Buy out all the land? Are you Mukesh Ambani?

Subscribe Via Email

Images hosted on www.ipernity.com