The Sassoon Docks is one of the oldest docks in Mumbai, India, and one of the few docks in the city that’s open to the public.
It’s one of largest fish markets in the city, and has much untapped potential as a destination. It sits next to the Mumbai Port Trust Garden, and overlooks Oyster Rock, an island in the Mumbai harbor.
Built in 1875 on reclaimed land, by the banking and mercantile company David Sassoon & Co., the docks were owned by Albert Abdullah David Sassoon (1818–1896), son of David Sassoon, the leader of the Jewish community in Bombay.
It was the first commercial wet dock in western India and helped establish the cotton trade. The Sassoon Docks encouraged the Bombay Presidency to promote the construction of the large Prince’s Dock. The Sassoon factories that produced silk and cotton goods in Bombay, also furnished employment for a large amount of native labor.
Now, after eight long months of intense negotiations with various stakeholders of Sassoon Docks, a plan to redevelop one of Mumbai’s oldest and most famous waterfronts into a modern fishing village has been prepared.
The new design will include an air-conditioned fish market, a one-storey museum and a space for visitors to enjoy fishing, among other tourist activities. The draft plan comprises an amphitheater, a food street and a floor to view the Arabian Sea.
There would be restoration of the main godown of the docks. Besides the roads being widened and paved, a waste management plan would be adopted to regulate the waste produced. “It is going to a be massive task (to revamp) because Sassoon Docks is dirty,” Bhatia said.
While the design of the revitalized doks has been more-or-less finalized, no decisions have been made regarding the marketing and financing the renovation. “We are still exploring the tourism potential of Sassoon Docks without any additional floor space index added to the area or any disruption to the heritage and historic value of the docks,” said a senior official.
Feature photo credit: A. N. Appaia via Wikipedia.h