A few days ago we had a welcome break from the soaring temperatures in Karjat, with the summer temperature outdoors doing more than 40 degrees celcius, the passing shower was a short respite from the heat.
Bringing a brief respite from the scorching heat, the rain gods put up a surprising show few days ago on April 30th in Karjat. A short spell of heavy rainfall was accompanied by an unexpected hail storm, which lasted for around 5 minutes.
If you have visited Karjat in recent times, you would have noticed that just beyond the city on the other side of the bridge leading to the villages, there is an over-sized dump yard that runs around 100 meters along the side of the road.
Tanaji Malusare city, the mammoth low-cost housing project coming up in Karjat, will have a motorised skywalk connecting all the facilities in the township and to Karjat station. The planned skywalk would be the first coming up in this fast-developing rural area.
The uneven roads are a common sight in Karjat especially during the monsoons. MMRDA has finally decided to improve the roads in four council areas including Karjat, Raigad, Kulgaon-Badlapur and Ambarnath.
As Mumbai can't hold more people, the lack of space and development has forced builders to look for greener pastures. Karjat seems to be the choicest location for builders, with the MMRDA's big plans for the city.
Karjat too has become a victim of rapid urbanisation. More and more land is being used to develop townships, hotels and bungalows. So paddy fields have given way to new development, and villages also have been acquired for the SEZ plan in Raigad district. This is evident with the change in landscape when you enter Karjat.
An innovative bamboo construction is coming up in the valley behind Karjat dam. The 3-storey building, which will be a dormitory for the staff of Magic Bus NGO, has a modern and sustainable structure. Bamboo is used as the main supporting material, so it blends with its surrounding landscape.
The ten-seater tuktuks or rickshaws, which is the common mode of transport for villagers and tourists in Karjat, are facing some competition. Tata Motors is promoting its passenger version of its Ace mini-truck, Tata Magic, in Karjat, ensuring comfortable and safe transportation mode.
The sight of vadas being fried at platform stalls as the train reaches Karjat station is too tempting to miss. But that will soon change, as Indian Railways plan to ban cooking at food stalls on platforms. Due to fire hazards and accidents at crowded station, Central and Western railways will open a centralised kitchen for the stall owners to cook vadas, samosas etc., or even make tea.
Reliance ADAG joined hands with One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) Foundation to help kick start the OLPC India project in order to educate kids in rural areas. The first of the XO laptop series was distributed in a school in Khairat village among 25 students.
Whenever the government takes land away from the locals it seems like they never live up to their promises. The Morbe dam project in Karjat has affected 11 villages and 776 families. Some of the affected people have been claiming that they have not been given permanent jobs as promised while none of the families who have been resettled get water from the dam.
The Maharashtra Government has been asked by the Bombay high court to provide the necessary infrastructure to open a court of additional sessions at Panvel. This would make it convenient for litigants from Karjat, Panvel, Uran and Khalapur, who currently travel to Alibaug session court for redressal of legal issues.
Karjat has been warming up as a destination for the city dwellers around it, but is Karjat ready to become the entertainment hub of Maharashtra? At the moment there has been a lot of development with regards to hotels and guest houses. Lets take a look at some of the future projects coming up in Karjat.
The villagers of Karalewadi, Mandawane, Bhiwapuri, Hedavali, Ambewadi and Phanaswadi were stranded due to the bridge that joined their villages to the Karjat city collapsed. The reason behind the bridge collapse is blamed on singer Shankar Mahadevan. They alleged that the construction work on an illegal compound wall at Mahadevan's farmhouse located close to the bridge led to the incident.