Gurugram’s MG Street: From a monument hub to ‘infamous’ Mall Mile



Seventy-year-old Vishnu Bhargava moved to DLF Part 2 from New Delhi on March 25, 1993 together with his spouse, two daughters and a son. He remembers the exact date as a result of for him, shifting to Gurugram was nothing wanting a dream.

“I used to be shifting to my very own home right here from a rented place in Higher Kailash 1, and Gurugram (Gurgaon on the time) was a quaint suburb and surprisingly, very protected,” Bhargava recalled. One in all his fondest recollections from 25 years previous is looking at MG Street from the balcony of his home to see if any automotive was approaching. “You can see the MG Street Junction from my home at the moment. There have been no buildings in any respect,” he says.

In accordance with heritage conservators and restorers, greater than a decade in the past, the MG Street stretch was dwelling to 18th century monuments referred to as ‘pyau’. The Dhauli Pyau was the place the Dhronacharya Metro station is positioned immediately. It was restored and maintained by the Haryana chapter of the Indian Nationwide Belief for Artwork & Cultural Heritage (INTACH) since 1998, and was razed throughout a land acquisition drive for the Metro by the Haryana City Improvement Authority in February 2007.

One other such monument, the Nimbuwali Pyau, was the place the mall mile exists immediately. Navin Piplani, conservation architect, mentioned, “The pyau used to fall on the ‘shahi raasta’ from Mehrauli to Jaipur. Travellers on the route would halt for breaks close to these pyaus. I’ve spent many a Sundays round these monuments too. I bear in mind there was a small tea store close to certainly one of them.”

Historical past buff Sohail Hashmi too remembered how he used to go to mango orchards in Chattarpur on MG Street each summer time as a toddler. “I largely bear in mind MG street as a nondescript one. Nonetheless, on additional continuing on the street in direction of Gurugram, one would see an space which was often called Dhauli Pyau,” mentioned Hashmi.

Immediately, the Mehrauli-Gurugram Street, popularly often called MG Street, has been branded as a infamous street within the gentrification capital of India. A 2.5 kilometre stretch of the street is dotted with malls, pubs and eateries, a lot in order that the street has been branded because the ‘Mall Mile’. In July, Gurugram police raided 4 pubs and arrested 17 bar house owners on prices of immoral actions. Residents of MG Street have been taking to the streets to protest in opposition to the rising crime graph within the space.

Residents mentioned that the early 2000s was when MG Street began turning to what it’s immediately. Earlier than that, it was a single street lined with timber on each the perimeters.

“The shops got here up right here by 2004. We have been initially elated as a result of we didn’t need to journey two kilometres simply to purchase bread anymore,” mentioned Bhargava. Nonetheless, he added, because of the emergence of retail financial system and company workplaces, folks began getting richer and financial divisions within the society led to a rise in thefts. “This created massive gangs whose members would frequent the bars on MG Street,” he mentioned.

Mukta Naik, city planner and senior researcher with the Centre for Coverage Analysis, moved to Gurugram in 2004 –across the time when malls have been sprouting throughout MG Street. She mentioned that malls was a novelty again then and that individuals from New Delhi would go to Gurugram’s malls. “They have been a brand new attraction for households who may eat and store beneath the identical roof. There wasn’t a lot of a pub tradition again then. All of the unlawful actions that one retains listening to about didn’t begin taking place in a single day. The authorities ought to have been vigilant about this stuff. They grew slowly. Initially, Sahara mall was infamous for these happenings. Steadily, one began listening to about different malls,” she mentioned.

‘The shops are right here. However the place are the folks?’, have been among the issues newspapers and residents of Gurugram have been echoing round 2002.

Scientist Sanjeev Kumar Saxena who was born in Gurugram mentioned that although the department stores had arrived, poor connectivity to New Delhi was nonetheless a problem. “However quickly after, these malls, accompanied by the pubs, grew to become a hangout for households. Folks have been actually joyful again then,” Saxena mentioned. He burdened that there must be some try to convey again the misplaced glory of the street, and really useful turning part of the street into a delegated strolling monitor.

Nonetheless, Naik mentioned that whereas it was essential to curb unlawful actions, this didn’t have to come back at the price of the town’s nightlife.

“Gurugram has some huge cash and multinationals. World cities the world over do have nightlife and that nightlife does result in a state of affairs the place unknown folks might go to a pub and find yourself strolling out of it collectively. Possibly we are attempting to impose a morality code of a really standard variety. That’s one thing we have to query,” mentioned Naik.

ACP (retd.) Ramesh Pal recalled that the state of affairs received worse round 2005 when folks from New Delhi began frequenting the department stores on MG Street as they have been serving liquor until late evening. “A few of these bar house owners had political connections. So because of political strain, the police couldn’t do a lot regardless of attempting to curb their actions,” Pal mentioned.

Sociologists say that it’s pure that not everyone seems to be glad with the speedy tempo of the event of their neighbourhood. Shantanu Roy, a 35-year-old sociology trainer at a non-public faculty in Gurugram, believes that residents are emotionally connected to their neighbourhoods. “Having a bar or a pub in your locality can signify the final word inconvenience. The one factor folks don’t need subsequent door is a bar. That method, sure areas might be divisive or inclusive. The distinction between sure teams of individuals in an space can result in self segregation in the usage of specific areas.”

The bar house owners of MG Street have already began trying to find areas in different areas of the town comparable to Golf Course Street and Sohna Street to arrange store, in response to sources conversant in the matter. Roy mentioned there isn’t a lot time earlier than different residential areas too begin having inconveniences with the speedy urbanisation.


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