” Details about the historic & famous location of Grant Road East (Mumbai) ‘Kamathipura’ (Red Light Area of Prostitution) and its redevelopment finalized in 2023. Although Gangubai Kathiyawadi movie detailed many things and stories about this place, One must know a little more about this location called ‘Kamathipura’.
It is one of the oldest and most famous gullies of South Mumbai known as the ‘Red Light Area’, Which is about 39 acres in total of which the finalized redevelopment project is 27 acres located at Grant road (East).
The place name was given with reference to ‘Kamathis’ (Workers) from Andra Pradesh. Kamathipura was formerly called ‘Lal Bazaar’ when the Britisher ruled Mumbai.”
Only the Location Details, History, and Basic Details of the Prostitution Business in the Area is briefed. No Nudity, Sexually explicit content, or any related information is detailed below.
Kamathipura Red Light Area of Prostitution in Mumbai
Being one of the oldest prostitute areas of south Mumbai since 1795 (British Government Era), Kamathipura once had about 50,000 sex workers until 1992. Later on, hardly 500 workers were seen standing streetside wearing dresses similar to those seen in the pictures above to attract customers.
Those ‘Kamathis’ are the ones who worked hard and built famous structures and age-old buildings in Mumbai like ‘The BMC Building’ (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation) opposite CSMT railway station, The Gothic Structure of famous Rajabai Clock Tower, Mumbai High Court Building and lot more.
The drastic reduction in numbers was due to the frequent raids by Mumbai police for the betterment of the locality and a few other reasons. A decade back 90’s When one used to drive through the lanes or take a public bus, or taxi ride which is officially named ‘Falkland Road’ the view was obvious and somewhat not so pleasant when with family.
It was called ‘Lal bazaar’ and was once tagged as a ‘Tolerated Area’ since prostitution was illegal during that era.
A street inside called ‘Cursetji Shuklaji Street’ in this Mumbai’s famous Kamathipura which was also called a safe gully (the word Gully refers to the Hindi word for a ‘Lane’).
It was called safe because it was home to European prostitutes in Mumbai located adjacent to this famous ‘Red Light Area’ of Grant Road.
Since then, Kamathipura is congested, Old cess structures of about 100 years old with unhygienic road conditions, drainage systems, and garbage around adjacent streets which are also very old with narrow lanes where these prostitute girls used to stand and attract customers.
Year 2023, Redevelopment of Kamathipura Location
The historic business of prostitution at Kamathipura is no more. For 2 decades now, the Revamping / Redevelopment of these century-old depilated clusters of buildings has been tried by private developers and MHADA with no success till 2023.
Now, as of the year 2023, finally, the project of Kamathipura redevelopment saw some bright light, and a few beautiful townships with all modern facilities like schooling and hospitals, etc, and the facelift of the total of 16 lanes in and around old Kamathipura will be changed.
No more sex zones and just clean legitimate residential locations in the old and famous ‘Lal Bazaar’, the historic prostitution market of Mumbai. Below are the details.
2023, Kamathipura Redevelopment Project Details
Redevelopment of Kamathipura will be done by the state’s housing development body called ‘MHADA’ known for its low-cost home development around Mumbai / Maharashtra. Everything will be legalized according to rules 33(9) of Development control.
So far, it will be the largest cluster development project in Mumbai which was trying to see sunlight for a decade. Kamathipura is spread over 27.59 acres of land which currently have an old very old depilated building in South Mumbai. The home of Kamathi from Andra Pradesh is as small as 150 to 160 sq ft and also above 1500 sq ft too.
The old lanes which are very much connected to the famous Khetwadi lanes (Famous for its Ganesh festival) are very narrow. The age-old drainage system and water pipelines are at their worst in a few locations. Redevelopment of this location at Grant road was a must but got delayed.
The buildings & structures are more than 100 years now and the cluster has about 943 such cess buildings which reside more than 8000 tenants.
Apart from these buildings that are going for cluster redevelopment, There are also about 300 plus Non-Cess buildings and 14 structures related to multiple religions.
The location also has 4 plots which are reserved and 2 schools. Maharashtra state government has formed 3 different committees that will take care of all the needs of this project and the process of redevelopment will be properly taken care of.
This is not the first time MHADA took an interest, In the 1980s MHADA has an urban renewal proposal and did a related survey of the Kamathipura location of then called ‘Bombay’.
But then, seemed some risk on financial terms, and the project of this famous location of South Mumbai redevelopment in the 80s didn’t see the daylight. Many private developers also took interest in this location’s redevelopment project, But for some other reasons, it didn’t work.
See also: Latest news in 2023 also confirmed one of the biggest redevelopment projects of Mumbai which is Dharavi that has the highest number of slums. More about Kamathipura can be found at the Wiki’s