Navi Mumbai (Marathi: नवी मुंबई) (erstwhile: New Bombay) is a satellite twin of the city of Mumbai, India. It is the largest planned new city in the world, with an area of 344 km². Navi Mumbai lies on the mainland on the eastern seaboard of the Thane Creek. The city limits stretch from Airoli near Thane in the north, to Uran in the south. The length of the city is almost the same as Mumbai. The Vashi and Airoli Bridges connect Navi Mumbai to Mumbai. There is now a new Railway link from Vashi to Thane via Airoli, Ghansoli, and Kopar Khairane
The region was part of the kingdom of Ashoka and then various Hindu rulers of the Silhara dynasty until 1343, when it was annexed by the kingdom of Gujarat. In 1534, the Portuguese took the region from Bahadur Shah of Gujarat. It remained in their hands until 1661, when it was ceded as the dowry of Catherine de Braganza to Charles II of England. He, in turn, leased it to the British East India Company in 1668 for £10 per annum.
The region remained undeveloped until the 1970s when the real estate boom began.
The first post-independence development plan for Bombay, formulated by the Mayer-Modak Committee in 1948, suggested satellite towns to Mumbai (then Bombay).Ten years later, the Barve committee suggested the formation of a township on the mainland across the Thane Creek to decongest Bombay.One of its major recommendations was that a rail-cum-road bridge be built across the Thane Creek to connect peninsular Bombay with the mainland. The bridge accelerated development across the Creek, relieving pressure on the city’s railways and roadways, and attracted industrial and residential concentrations eastward to the mainland.
Barve Group recommendations were accepted by Government of Maharashtra. A new committee chaired by Prof. D.R. Gadgil, then Director of the Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics, Pune in March, 1965 was asked to form broad principles of regional planning. After these recommmendations and recommendations from Panvel and Pune.The regional planning board constituted in June 1967 under the chairmanship of an ICS officer L.G. Rajwade recommendated new metro-centre or New Bombay now called Navi Mumbai across the creek.This proposal was accepted by the BMC. On 17th March 1970 under the Indian Companies Act, 1956 CIDCO was incorporated. Its sole purpose was to plan, develop and maintain the township of Navi Mumbai. Privately owned land covering 86 villages and measuring 15,954 ha. within the present limits of Navi Mumbai and further villages, measuring 2,870 ha were acquired the Government of Maharashtra.
Vashi Bridge across Thane creek.
In 1973 the Vashi Bridge was opened to the public for residents of Vashi , Belapur and Nerul . Sion- Panvel highway was built to reduce the time taken to travel from Sion to Panvel. Initally the response to the new city was low, major changes took place only after 1990 with the commissioning of the wholesale agricultural produce market at Vashi and the construction of a commuter railway line from Mankhurd to Vashi in May 1992. These developments caused a sudden growth in economic activities and population in Navi Mumbai.
By the end of the 1990s, the planning authority of Navi Mumbai initiated private participation in the developmental activity of Navi Mumbai
The new city dawns
Utsav Chowk at Karghar
CIDCO was formed on 17th March, 1971 and was given the mandate of converting about 344 km². of marshy land lying between village Dighe in Thane district and Kalundre village of Raigad district into a new city. It consisted of 150 km creek line of the total 720 km of the Konkan coast. The villagers under this area lived a calm life much different from the life in the neighbouring city of Mumbai (then called Bombay). CIDCO carved out 14 nodes – small townships – of the land with a view to facilitate comprehensive development and to give it an identity of new city. These nodes are named Airoli, Ghansoli, Kopar Khairane, Vashi, Sanpada, Nerul, CBD Belapur, Kharghar, Kalamboli, Jui Kamothe, New Panvel, Ulwe, Pushpak and Dronagiri. CIDCO acquired 193.94 km² land of which 141.05 km² was private land, including about 22.92 km² salt-pan land and 52.89 km² government land. By the year 2000 CIDCO had developed about 117.60 km² of land. Of this land 54.45 km² is saleable under various land uses. CIDCO has sold about 21.90 km² leaving a balance land for sale about 32.58 km² under various land uses.
When Navi Mumbai was created in 1970′s CIDCO was the only authority that looked after the develpoment and maintance of the city. CIDCO prepared developmental plan for Navi Mumbai covering 95 villages from Thane and Raigad district. For the first ten years of the project CIDCO acted as the planning and administrative body, as well as the developer and builder for the project. Tax on property , land , commercial , water were payable to CIDCO. The 14 nodes which CIDCO created where named Airoli, Ghansoli, Kopar Khairane, Vashi, Sanpada, Nerul, CBD Belapur, Kharghar, Kalamboli, Kamothe, New Panvel, Ulwe, Pushpak and Dronagiri. Each of the nodes is divided into groups. These groups are blocks of one or more sector in each of the node. Initally only Vashi , Nerul , CBD Belapur , Airoli were developed buy CIDCO and build infracture for Housing , School, community centre roads. But after the arrival of Harbour Line in 1990′s there was increrase in population . CIDCO shifted its develpoment plan to nodes like Kharghar, New Panvel,Airoli, Ghansoli, Kopar Khairane. In its new development plan CIDCO Land was allocated lands to builders for housing according to the drawn plane . CIDCO only provided basic infra structure like roads , water , electricty and these nodes were developed mostly by private builders according to CICCO plan.
Nodes of Navi Mumbai under NMMC
In 1991 Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) was created for maintaning some of the developed nodes of Navi Mumbaiand local self-government started functioning from 1st January 1992,.NMMC was handed 9 of the 25 nodes of the Navi Mumbai project area for its jurisdiction . The 9 nodes are – Belapur , Nerul, Vashi ,Turbhe, Koperkhairane, Ghansoli, Airoli, Digha, Dahisar .
The muncipal corporation is headed by Municipal commissioner and a elected Mayor There are 64 electoral wards in Navi Mumbai. A corporator is elected in each of the wards.All the nodes under muncipal corporation come under Thane District. However, CIDCO, as a Planning Authority has a right on the open plots in these five nodes.
The newly developed nodes of Navi Mumbai on the south side like Kharghar, New Panvel ,Kalamboli, New Panvel are still maintained by CIDCO and dont come under NMMC jurisdiction. These nodes i.e nodes beyond CBD Belapur (Belpada) come under Raigad Districtand fall under Panvel Municipal Council.
Navi Mumbai Municipal Transport Undertaking or NMMT Undertaking is the local transport service operated by the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation in the city of Navi Mumbai and adjoining areas; Dombivli, Badlapur, Uran, Panvel, Thane , Kalyan and Mulund .
Marathi,the official language of the state of Maharashtra,is extensively spoken.Navi Mumbai has a multilingual population. A common language spoken on the city streets is a colloquial form of Hindi, known as Bambaiya Hindi – a blend of Hindi, Marathi, Indian English and some invented colloquial words. English is also extensively spoken, and is the principal language of the city’s white collar workforce.
Navi Mumbai spreads over parts of two districts of Maharashtra; Thane and Raigad. The region is hilly in some parts. Parts of the region are also protected wetlands. Unlike its bigger neighbour, the city is sparsely populated. Navi Mumbai is a part of South Konkan coast line. This coastal line joins Sahyadri mountain ranges in South and 50 to 100 m high hills in East.Thus the Navi Mumbai area lies between mountain ranges and a coast line. Its coordinates are between Latitude 19.5’ and 19.15’, Longitude 72.55’ and 73.5’
Along east, there are small hills running in north-south direction. The lands forms part of Konkan Region. The narrow belt of land starts at Dighe in north and ends at Kalundre in south. It is 25.60 km² in area, 20 km long and about 2.0 km wide.
The rock formation in the region are derived mainly from Deccan Basalt and also from granites, gneissus and laterite. The gently sloping coastal low lands are observed in patches and are covered with moderately shallow to deep soils, mostly lateritic in nature, sometimes oxidised to yellow marrum.
This area has sub-tropical monsoonic climate of humid-perhumid to semiarid and subhumid type. Overall climate is equable with high rainfall days and very few days of extreme temperatures.
The mean annual temperature ranges from 25 to 28 °C. The mean maximum temperature of the hottest month in this area varies from 30 to 33 °C in April-May while mean minimum temperature of coldest month varies from 16 to 20 °C. Extremes of temperatures, like 38 to 39 °C in summer and 11 to 14 °C in winter, may be experienced for a day or two in respective season.
The rainy season is mostly confined to south-west monsoon with 80% of the rainfall received during June to October (60 to 70 days). This area, on an average, receives 2500 to 3500 mm rainfall.
The area has marine humid-perhumid climate with more humidity and less diumal variations. Relative humidity varies from 41 to 97%. Driest days being in winter and wettest ones experienced in July.
Features such a presence of large water body (the creek), presence of hill ridges etc. influence the local wind patterns to some extent. No significant micro-climatic variation is noticeable in the region.
The soils of this region are highly saline in the vicinity of creeks and non-saline at other places. They are calcareous, neutral to alkaline in reaction (pH 7.5 to 8.5), clayey, with high amount of bases and have high water holding capacity (200-250 mm/m). The soils located on moderately sloping residual hills are lateritic in nature and show intensively leached surfaces. They are loamy and slight to moderately acidic (pH 5-6.5) with moderate base status (< 75%)
The land was used to produce paddy during rainy season. Some mango and coconut orchards and limited vegetable cultivation was also practised by locals. Those with well-irrigation facility used to go for legumes like ‘tur’ and ‘beans’. With urbanisation, however, all agriculture activities in Navi Mumbai have almost ceased to exist, except in easternmost part. Fish, crabs and prawns were common products from the creek, though the quantities of each were not significant. Surplus from domestic consumption was sold in Thane and Belapur markets. With advent of industries in the region, and with consequent deterioration of water quality, these markets were lost.
As of 2001 India censusGRIndia, Navi Mumbai had a population of 703,947. Males constitute 56% of the population and females 44%. Navi Mumbai has an average literacy rate of 74%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 79%, and female literacy is 67%. In Navi Mumbai, 14% of the population is under 6 years of age.
The most common transportation is the red NMMT buses and suburban trains. NMMT buses are similar to the BEST buses except that they are operated by NMMC. Auto rickshaws and Taxis are also a popular mode of transport. Mumbai’s suburban railway network also covers most of the populated region of the city. The most important external railway station of this region are Vashi, Belapur CBD and Panvel. The stations are planned as a major railway junction. Most trains plying on the Konkan Railway stop at Panvel so that those passengers destined to reach Mumbai may get the local trains. These trains bypass the island city altogether. Future plans include linking the station to Pune to cut travel time between Mumbai and Pune.
With the Mulund-Airoli link now the fastest way of getting to the central could be via NMMT or BEST buses to Mulund.
Thane-Vashi corridor on Harbour Line of the Central Railway was commissioned on 9th November 2004. The trains will ply along a 18.5 km route through Vashi, Sanpada, Turbhe, Kopar Khairne, Ghansoli, Rabale and Airoli, to Thane. Work in underway to lay an additional pair of tracks between Thane and Kurla – the 5th and 6th corridor for a ring railway route: Thane-Kurla-Vashi-Thane.
If you are new to Mumbai, and wish to travel to any part of Navi Mumbai , then just make sure that you hop into a BEST bus having 500 series. Example – BEST Route 505 starts from C.B.D in Navi Mumbai and ends at Bandra in Mumbai, vice versa. Others routes like 506, 507, 511, 512 etc. take commuters from Nerul in Navi Mumbai to Mumbai and back.
The Palm Beach Marg is a 10 Km long 6 lane road the state-of-the-art expressway that connects Vashi to Belapur running parallel to the Thane creek
Vashi station complex
Most of software companies in Maharashtra have their offices in Navi Mumbai. The government of Maharashtra has also setup software parks to cater to the growing demand. Many large institutions also have their offices here. The Reliance group of industries have a major presence (DAKC) in Kopar Khairane and Mahape. Other prominent companies include Digit Computer Magazine. As a part of long term planning, major commodity markets have begun moving from the heart of Mumbai city to Navi Mumbai. Kalamboli (another node in Navi Mumbai) is home to a major steel market. Vashi has the fresh fruits and vegetables market. One of the important business landmarks is the shipping port of JNPT (stands for Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust) in Nhava Sheva – Dronagiri node. There are firm yet undeveloped plans to build an airport in Navi Mumbai.
The International Infotech Park at Vashi station complex houses many international IT companies
The New Millennium City near Mahape forms a major part of the Knowledge Corridor that spans Mumbai and Pune . The head office of Reliance Infocom – Dhirubhai Ambani Knowledge City is situtated opposite to Koparkhairane station .The IT companies in Navi Mumbai include Wipro Ltd, CMC, Tata Consultancy Services, Aptech, Track Mail, ICICI Infotech and PCS which have their office on Thane Belapur Road.
Navi Mumbai is served by TCSNavi Mumbai News Pvt. Ltd., a local cable television channel based in Vashi  while Marathi & Hindi newschannels are popular. The national television broadcaster Doordarshan provides two free terrestrial channels – Doordarshan and Sahyadri.Marathi channel like DD-Sahyadri, Zee_Marathi and ETV-Marathi along with other Hindi channels are popular in Mumbai.Over 100 channels are received by household through cable. Boradband , DTH is yet to yet to gain mass acceptance, due to high installation costs.
Marathi newspapers like Maharashtra Times,Loksatta,Saamna,Sakal are important dailies alongwith several English counterparts like Times of India and Indian express. Several weekly newspapers with varying degrees of local focus keep residents informed of events in the node and/or the city, including:
- In New Bombay
- The New Mumbai Street (started in 2003)
- The Twin City Times
- Vashi Times (the first English weekly of the city)
- 21st Century Commercial (the first business news weekly of the city)
- Khargar Times
Websites like Vashi2Panvel , provide an online source of news about the city.
Navi Mumbai has near uninterrupted power supply from various sources. The city has numerous flyovers, broad roads, and parking lots. Housing here is much cheaper than Bombay. The main problem facing the residents is the poor connectivity with Bombay with only two road links between the two cities, and a single rail line. Hovercraft service from Vashi to Colaba and C.B.D to Colaba had started , but just did not pick up due to high cost of ticket and maintenance.
Law and Order
As the population and prosperity of the city rose through the years, it began to attract more criminal activity. Navi Mumbai’s crime count jumped up from 2,763 in 2003 to 3,571 in 2004. Criminal activities in Navi Mumbai are usually on the scale of chain/cellphone snatchings, vehicle thefts and burglaries involving unoccupied houses, but murder and armed robbery takes place in significant numbers . Nerul is especially plagued by robbery . Shops and housing colonies often hire private security guards, as the police force is often overstretched . Businesses are expected to shut shop by 10pm. The Mumbai underworld has also begun to take notice of the city , targeting the inceasingly thriving businesses of cable operators, builders and real estate developers for extortion.
With the best education opportunities available, Navi Mumbai is fast-emerging as the educational capital of India. Each node is self-sufficient in quality education facilities.About 22.5 per cent of the total population is considered to be school-going and adequate provision is made to absorb it in each node. The city has schools that offer various syllabi – Maharashtra State SSC board, all-India Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) and Central Board for Secondary Education (CBSE) boards.
Besides the regular arts and science colleges, there are higher education institutions that provide courses in engineering, medicine, architecture ,catering and management. Students from adjoining towns and suburbs come to Navi Mumbai in their quest for quality education. All collegs and school are affiliated to the University of Mumbai.
- Akbar Peerbhoy College of Education – Vashi
- Apeejay School – Nerul
- Bharati Vidyapeeth’s College of Architecture – Belapur
- Bharati Vidyapeeth’s College of Engineering – Belapur
- Bharati Vidyapeeth College of Engineering- CBD Belapur
- Bharati Vidyapeeth’s College of Engineering (BVCOE) – Navi Mumbai
- Bharati Vidyapeeth’s College Of Pharmacy – Belapur
- Bharati Vidyapeeth’s Institute of Hotel Management and Catering Technology – Belapur
- Bharati Vidyapeeth’s Institute of Management Studies and Research – Belapur
- Bharati Vidyapeeth’s Institute of Pharmacy – Belapur
- Bharati Vidyapeeth’s Institute of Technology – Belapur
- Centre for Development of Advanced Computing – Kharghar
- D.A.V Public School- Airoli, Navi Mumbai
- D.A.V Public School- Airoli, Navi Mumbai
- Datta Meghe College of Engineering – Airoli
- Delhi Public School – Nerul
- Fr. Agnel Industrial Training Institute – Vashi
- Fr.Agnel Multipurpose School (English & Marathi Medium)- Vashi
- Fr. Agnel Multipurpose Junior College – Vashi
- Fr. Agnel Polytechnic – Vashi
- Fr. Conceicao Rodrigues Institute of Technology- Vashi
- Indian Burns Research Hospital -[Airoli
- Institute of Business Studies & Research – CBD Belapur
- Institute of Technology & Management – Kharghar
- Lokmanya Tilak College Of Engineering (LTCOE) – Navi Mumbai
- Mahatma School of Academics and Sport- New Panvel
- Mahtma Gandhi Mission college of Engineering & Technology – Kalamboli
- Mahatma Gandhi missions Medical College – Kalamboli
- National Institute of Fashion Technology – Kharghar
- Padmashree Dr. D. Y. Patil College of Architecture – Nerul
- Padmashree Dr. D. Y. Patil College of Occupational Therapy – Nerul
- Padmashree Dr. D. Y. Patil College of Physiotherapy – Nerul
- Padmashree Dr. D. Y. Patil Dental College & Hospital – Nerul
- Padmashree Dr. D. Y. Patil Institute for Biotechnology and Bioinformatics- Nerul
- Padmashree Dr. D. Y. Patil Institute of Hotel Management & Catering Technology -[Nerul
- Padmashree Dr. D. Y. Patil Institute of Management Studies – Nerul
- Padmashree Dr. D. Y. Patil Institute of Post-Graduate Studies in Dental Surgery – Nerul
- Padmashree Dr. D. Y. Patil Medical College – Nerul
- Padmashree Dr. D. Y. Patil Medical College University of Lancashire School Of Biomedical Sciences – Nerul
- Padmashree Dr. D. Y. Patil Polytechnic – Nerul
- Pillai’s College of Architecture (PiCA) – New Panvel
- Pillai’s College of Arts, Science and Commerce – New Panvel
- Pillai’s Institute of Information Technology Engineering, Media Studies & Research – New Panvel
- Pillai’s Institute of Management Studies & Research (PIMSR) – New Panvel
- Pillai’s Polytechnic – New Panvel
- Pillai’s Research Institute – New Panvel
- Ramrao Adik Institute of Technology – Nerul
- Rayat Shikshan Sanstha’s Modern College – Vashi
- Ryan International School – Kharghar
- Sacred Heart High School – Vashi
- Smt. Indira College of Engineering – Kopar Khairane
- South Indian Education Society Centre for Excellence in Management Research & Development – Nerul
- South Indian Education Society College of Arts,Science& Commerce – Nerul
- South Indian Education Society College of Management Studies – Nerul
- South Indian Education Society Institute of Environment Management – Nerul
- South Indian Education Society Graduate School of Technology(SIESGST) – Nerul
- South Indian Education Society School of Packaging – Nerul
- Terna Nursing College – Nerul
- Terna Physiotherapy College – Nerul
- Terna Polytechnic – Kopar Khairne
- Terna Public Charitable Trust Engineering College – Nerul
- Terna Public Charitable Trust Medical College – Nerul
- Training Ship Chanakya – Nerul
- Vidyadhiraja Collage of Physical Education & Research – New Panvel