28 July, 2021

Photo Essay | Streets Of Kamathipura

More and more of Kamathipura, Mumbai’s oldest red-light area, has been on sale for big realty fish

Photo Essay | Streets Of Kamathipura

A piece of Mumbai’s history is going to be whitewashed by skyscrapers, ousting to the suburbs some of the descendants of those who literally built ‘Bombay’. Nestled in the heart of South Mumbai, Kamathi­pura features all the traits of urban vintage: a chor bazaar, the old theatres, including the iconic Naaz theatre. Its location also gives it prime property status. And the realtors have been long coming.

Today, the estimate for flats in Kamathipura and the neighbouring areas is massive. A flat of 500-square-foot carpet area sells for Rs 1.5-2 crore. The smaller tenements have a different rate as of now. The one-room and kitchen set of around 250-square-foot carpet area that serves most of Mumbai’s low income groups costs around Rs 40 lakh in Kamathipura, including a premium for the tenants during a sale. These are rented out at an average of Rs 25,000 a month, inv­iting in a new demographic.

Oral history says the Kamathis, a caste of undivided Andhra Pradesh, were settled here by the British to build roads that connected several...

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