The Gateway of India, a Grade I Heritage monument, was built to commemorate the visit in 1911 of the first British monarch to set foot on Indian soil – King George V with his consort, Queen Mary. It formerly opened in December 1924. Today, the Gateway, in the historic Fort area of South Mumbai is its most prominent tourist site. It serves as an important public space surrounded by shops, hotels, restaurants interspersed with residential buildings.
The precinct is therefore characterised by a mix of different uses, resulting in an increasing pressure with regards to infrastructure and environment and a need to reconcile the potential of the area with its needs. In order to address this, UDRI undertook a series of studies in 2003 to examine in greater detail the existing as well as emerging patterns of use and deficiencies and resulted in creating a Master Plan for the district.
Of the many proposed action plans including zoning the precinct, managing public spaces, physical improvements to streets and traffic management, one of the recommendations that emerged was the creation of a Gateway of India Sub-precinct. The area around the Gateway currently lacks appropriately designed and located amenities like public toilets and ticketing facilities. Redesigning this node to better suit the needs of tourists would contribute significantly to the economic development of the area and city as a whole.