Sunday, January 29, 2017

Newton’s Movie Poster brings fresh helmet clad memories

Post to my blog on Bandra-Worli Sea Link (BWSL) that gave new face to Mumbai

It was synonymous moment as I got to know of through a film journalist friend of mine about Actor Rajkummar Rao’s endearing performance in his newly released movie among the film critic circle and saw him wearing the helmet in the movie poster of this newly released movie Newton in my handheld phone while passing through the Mumbai’s iconic mega-structure the Bandra-Worli Sea Link (BWSL). I couldn’t restrain myself in lifting my head to see the top of the tallest pole P9 (The largest pylons, also known as P9 during the construction) to reminisce my visit some years of memorable days. Those were the days I used to service the communications mandate of this engineering marvel and many times had taken media friend for the familiarisation visit (known as FAM visit in PR Terminology) to keep them abreast of this marvellous project that was already a piqued interest of the world with its engineering fascination. 
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Remembering helmet covered face, Poster of the movie Newton, brought fresh memories of my visit at the top of Bandra-Worli Sea link while passing through the stay-cable bridge, posing with safety helmet, feeling great that we did this long time before the makers of Newton did
Most of the events were picturesque and I immediately recalled the written-draft of my thrilling experience on this tower top, it was easier to fish-out the same to re-write more of my matured inputs.  As this was very special for me, I had a chance of touring my media photographer friends to escort them to the top through the make-shift construction elevator to get the towering feel and visual delight of Mumbai from the top of the P9.

The photographers were thrilled to experience the same, believe me, they were no strangers to such visits as their work involves more thrilling events around the nation. But here it was a renewed feel as such an engineering wonder implemented and executed by the giant of MNC’s of the world that super-specialize in doing these extraordinary EPC feats to make this happen more imposingly.

The Bandra Cable Stay Bridge, part of the iconic Bandra Worli Sea Link (BWSL) was connected to the approach spans (that will link Bandra in the Western Suburbs of Mumbai with Worli in South Mumbai) on May 27, 2008. This was a significant milestone towards the completion of the sea link being built by HCC (Hindustan Construction Company) prior to the onset of Mumbai's monsoon fury in the same year.  It was mandated on the safety ground to wear the helmets, construction-site gear jackets and all the other safety accessories on the safety grounds as huge risks and uncertainties were involved during the construction of this project; we were no VIPs that could bypass this mandate and adhered to the stipulations. I had to document my presence in this outfit for a memory that would of keen importance as a milestone of my life to know that it was one of the most thrilling moment to get up there on top P9 during its making. The media-photographer obliged and here it is 
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On top of the tallest wire holder, P9, during the making of the Bandra-Worli Sea Link
Aimed at providing health and safety environment at their construction sites, HCC (Hindustan Construction Company Ltd.) has been awarded the coveted 'Golden Peacock Award for Occupational Health & Safety' for the year 2007 for its Bandra-Worli Sea Link (BWSL) project for their outstanding achievements in the area of Occupational Health and Safety (OHS). The award recognizes the initiatives undertaken by HCC and its commitment towards adhering to global best practices is reflected in its quality, occupational health and safety policies. We were happy that our adherence to safety guidelines helped them in achieving the same.

I remember my unrestrained nature, post my visit to the P9, while coming down from the make-shift elevation, my creativity was flowing immensely and I couldn’t resist myself on writing this blog piece as I continued feeling high even after coming down from the highest point of viewing the large landscape of Mumbai from the cyclic perspective, about my experience. As this was the one of the best experiential in spite of being for a short period.

The ecstasy was indelible, feeling short of words Actor Hemu Shetty in the state of trance said “It’s still vivid that I did not want to miss this opportunity of going high on to the tower P9 and feeling the evening cool breeze fondling my face and getting seduced by nature. Once the sea link is open to public the chance of getting this opportunity of going up to the top of the tower would be next to impossible. Being up there gave a great feeling of being perched high, registering the panoramic view of Mumbai set my adrenaline flowing.”

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Movie poster reprises of the safety helmet I wore during my visit to the top of P9
Bandra-Worli Sea Link is one of India’s multi-engineering (as it involves civil, mechanical, electrical, electronics, marine, ecology sensitivity, etc.) sensation that reflects the modern infrastructure of the city of Mumbai. This civil engineering marvel spanning an arc of the Mumbai coastline. With its cable-stayed towers soaring gracefully skywards is a reflection of the modern infrastructure that Mumbai is adding in its progress towards becoming a world-class city. Bandra–Worli Sea Link was designed as the first cable-stayed bridge to be constructed in open seas in India. The largest pylons (known as P9 during the construction) for the bridge consist of diamond shaped 128 metres (420 ft) high concrete tower featuring flaring lower legs, converging upper legs, a unified tower head housing the stays and a continuously varying cross-section along the height of the tower. Environment friendliness was the top priority during the construction – fly ash, a waste product extracted from thermal power plants, was mixed with concrete, to make the construction durable as well as eco-friendly, thus making good use of waste material.

BWSL has a human side too as it also conveys the commuters pain, ordeal, time-loss during the heavy traffic, slim and unplanned roads of Mumbai.  The beauty of the Bandra-Worli Sea Link is in its engineering genius which gently compliments the beautiful waterscape it is built over, especially in the evening you have an enchanting glimpse of setting sun while travelling through the Mahim road. Apart from overlooking the magnificent sailing fishermen boats over the swaying waters of Mahim Bay, this splendid super-imposing iron architecture is a mighty sight to behold undeniably, the Bandra-Worli Sea Link is an amalgam of natural beauty and a modern man-made marvel. As you roll your windows down while whizzing past the bridge allowing the salty sea breeze run through your hair, you get the feel of nature endearing you with a romantic song. The spectacle of the enchanting and alluring Mumbai is especially appealing from the elevation of the bridge (the height where I got this opportunity) and makes it the perfect destination to capture a few candid shots of the city in all its glory. Bandra-Worli Sea Link also overlooks the Worli Bridge and has a small park located nearby. The beauty of this attraction is enhanced during the night when twinkling lights adorn the bridge with visual and psychedelic delight.
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The Bandra–Worli Sea Link,  India’s first eight-lane, cable-stayed freeway over the open sea,  is a cable-stayed bridge with pre-stressed concrete-steel viaducts on either side that links Bandra in the Western Suburbs of Mumbai with Worli in South Mumbai
Truly an architectural marvel, a saviour for Mumbaikars, this Sea Link plays a big role in the progress of making Mumbai a world-class city. Apart from reducing the travel time between Bandra and Worli tremendously, it was also proposed to link the western suburbs of Mumbai with Nariman Point, the main business centre. The bridge has conferred a time-saving route to Mumbai and has more to offer, it’s the throb of Mumbai as being a central connect like vein and arteries, has enhanced the lifestyle of Mumbai that brought a permanent and far-reaching change in the travel patterns of the area. And the nation had already placed its bet long before it opened up and became a face for a modern living. In fact today Bandra-Worli Sealink is the face of Mumbai, like Gateway of India, is the icon for India, assuring BSWL moreover is like a mascot giving a new form of an icon to Mumbai.
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Mumbai which looks more beautiful when viewed from the top, getting the cyclic view of Mumbai from the tip of the P9, during the construction of the Bandra-Worli Sea Link
The Bandra Cable Stay section of the BWSL spans 600m in length and towers to a height of 128 metres (equivalent to a 43+ storied building). The Cable Stay system comprises 2250 Km of high strength galvanized steel wires which support the Cable Stay Bridge weighing 20,000 Tons. An engineering marvel and the first ever open Sea Bridge of its kind, the Bandra-Worli Sea Link is one of the most complex and advanced construction projects in India. Truly a synergistic joint MNC feat, the construction team was like a mini United Nations: several teams of foreign engineers and technicians have worked on specialized tasks on the structure; these include professionals from China, Egypt, Canada, Switzerland, Britain, Serbia, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, Indonesia and the Philippines, Australia

Who can comment better than Masood Akhtar, a civil engineer-turned-actor, a Bandra Resident for more than 20 years? who never missed travelling from Bandra-Worli Sea Link says “A must visit and the best time to enjoy a ride at this man-made marvel is during the daytime when one can drive smoothly on the link with a clear view of the sea below”……and remembers meeting his girlfriend at the BWSL toll Naka later courting her at the rocks of the Bandstand. He joyfully further Added “Bandra-Worli Sea Link is the best place if you are visiting Mumbai at the southern tip of Bandra which is truly a romantic getaway which gives a nice view of the bay and the Worli Bridge. This place offers a nice place for romance through a small park with benches and is also swarming with romantic couples giving a synergistic environ. Only worth an excursion if you’re with your loved partner, to experience the lovely romantic-scape over the Arabian Sea amidst the setting of an old fort, far-stretch of waving with the beam of the setting sun swaying with the waves, this is truly priceless as this is the only place in Mumbai you can get to see this valuable view” 

Since the dawn on the passageway had begun, the countdown was truly exhilarating as it moved towards the Jan of 2009 to set the turf open for vehicles to start their new innings of travelling from Bandra to Worli in less than 7 minutes, crossing mere 4 signals over a distance of fewer than 4.7 km. The sea link has resulted in much easier driving with reduction in mental stress and improvement in the quality of life

The new Bandra-Worli Sea Link is a symbol of the great advances of the economy and engineering capabilities of the India which is the reflection of the modern infrastructure that the Mumbai is adding in its progress towards becoming a world-class city. Adding more to the inbound expectations, BSWL too has become a tourist attraction of Mumbai as most of the Mumbai inbound tourist wants to pass through BWSL at least once to have a travelling experience. Some say despite any historical significance it has gained more prominence and significance than The Eiffel Tower and has become a sure shot spot of tourism in Mumbai since it’s been open to public

In reference to current context, this is the rehash of my earlier blog post on 19th Sept 2008 (now removed) post my visit to P9 of BWSL

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