Analyse the massive reclamation projects undertaken to develop Bombay.
Ans. The land reclamation in Bombay gave a sort of solution to problems like congestion and housing. The earliest reclamation projects undertaken to develop Bombay started in 1784. The then Bombay Governor William Hornby gave his approval for the building of the great sea wall which prevented the flooding of the low-lying areas of Bombay. Since then, there have been many reclamation projects. The need for more commercial space in th$ mid-19th century led to the formulation of several plans.
These were undertaken both by government and private companies for the reclamation of more land from the sea. Private companies were more interested in taking financial risks as it was not a problem for them. In 1864, the Back Bay Reclamation Company won the right to reclaim the Western foreshore from the tip of Malabar Hill to the end of Colaba. Reclamation actually meant the levelling of the hills around Bombay. By the 1870s, Bombay had expanded to about 22 square miles. In the early 20th century, population increased rapidly, then every bit of available area was built over and new areas were reclaimed from the sea. Bombay Port Trust built a dry dock and used the excavated earth to create 22 acre Ballard Estate. The famous Marine Drive was also developed. This reclamation project was successfully done by Bombay Port Trust between 1914 and 1918.