The person responsible for the architecture intelligence of the picturesque Kharghar node of Navi Mumbai is architecture mastermind and Pritzker Architecture Prize recipient Balkrishna V Doshi. In fact, the master plan of Kharghar township, the biggest node in the Panvel City Municipal Corporation was made by Doshi when used to work as a consultant at CIDCO.
Doshi, a Pune-born is the first Indian to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize, the Nobel equivalent for the field.
“Without the basic structure of Kharghar node, which was designed and conceptualized by Doshi, it would not have been possible for us to develop such a beautiful node having wonderful landscapes like Central Park, Golf Course, Utsav Chowk and Shilp Chowk, besides wide roads, footpaths, hangout zones, green belt and scenic traffic islands. Doshi’s contribution to this node has been immense as he prepared the blueprint of the basic layout and conceptual plan,” said CIDCO’s chief planner Ramesh Dengle.
The population of the Kharghar township is over three lakhs and is spread over 2,000 hectares along the foothills of Parsik Hills. Spread over 40 sectors, Kharghar has the famous Pandavkada waterfalls and a large park on 100 hectares, and for all this, Doshi is to be given credit.
“Doshi gave this township a different shape compared to other nodes of Navi Mumbai,” said Kedarnath Ghorpode, a retired town planner.
Former CIDCO chief planner Dinkar Samant, who had worked with Doshi closely for over a decade, said, “There was no tender system to appoint consultant firms; CIDCO chose Doshi to design the Kharghar node. He first visited Belapur’s Artist Village to study the housing project before taking charge as a consultant. Though he did not design any buildings or landmark structures, he is credited for Kharghar’s master plan, which is much better than other nodes in entire Navi Mumbai. All the roads and other amenities you see today are his brainchild.”
Doshi will travel to Toronto in May to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize and give a public lecture.