‘Conversations about the Urban, One City at a Time’  

in the words of young writers

Shortlisted | Thane Suburb’s Urbanisation Route From Zero to Hero

Are you interested in writing about cities?

The essay is a monologue of praise for the little town of Kalwa, which neighbors the urbanisation epicenter- Thane, by a girl who grew up with and within it. The essay is a part of shortlisted entries for the essay writing contest, February 2024.


Shortlisted | Thane Suburb’s Urbanisation Route From Zero to Hero 1
Kalwa bridge over Thane Creek. Source: www.dextragroup.com

With Ulhas River on one edge and Thane Creek on the other, the area of Kalwa marks its territory as a residential suburb of Thane district. The Mumbai-Pune Expressway and Thane-Belapur Road, being the major routes of connectivity, along with Kalwa railway station, helped its rapid urbanisation process through the past three decades.

Most general conversations around the architecture and politics of Kalwa often bring up the graph of its growth, thanks to the ever-increasing real estate costs of Mumbai and the influx and movement of the ‘common man’ population towards Mumbai and Thane suburbs. The following text intends to shed light on the bright sides of development in the town of Kalwa.

During the ’90s and early 2000s, Kalwa was just another remote area with basic connectivity and transport systems. Thane city, at its core, enjoyed being the centre of attraction and urbanisation until it reached its saturation point, leading to the unloading of its amenities in the neighbouring regions. Majorly divided into two zones, Kalwa and Kharegaon, the latter land was occupied by a wealthy local population. As time passed, the residential societies popped up one by one, shedding the previous bungalow systems and giving rise to increased low-rise complexes in the area.

Shortlisted | Thane Suburb’s Urbanisation Route From Zero to Hero 3
Thane suburban skyline. ⒸPrahar Mitra // farm6.staticflickr.com

Starting as a ribbon development model along the Mumbai-Pune Road, the Kalwa region kept expanding and integrating farmlands and transforming them into mixed-use zones. The 90-foot road of Parsik Nagar, Kalwa, has been hosting a major cultural event—the Thane Festival—since 2015, helping assemble the public from Thane and Mumbai suburbs to spend joyous evenings on cold January days.

Who would have thought that a small town overshadowed by the popular Thane city would one day land in national and regional celebrities for entertainment?

From holding farmlands and a high crime rate to building residential towers with dependable, secure infrastructure, hospitals and schools, cultural spaces, and public parks, Thane’s budding town has come a long way, with every part of it weaving a story of its own, flashing its significant landmarks.

Ultimately, the fate of every region slides under the wings of its political representatives, and one can derive that the citizens of Kalwa are choosing the right people along their way to holistic transformation where the differences in people keep blurring, striving for an easy life for all.

Comments from mentors

“This essay needs better structuring and also needs to be edited much more. Many bits sound awkward, the point is lost in the fuzziness of awkward sentence constructions. But there is great potential in this idea.”

– Arpita Das, Mentor, Urban Imprints

“Good topic, something that I would not have given thought to otherwise, some interesting insight, but seems to make too much of a cultural event.”

– Peeyush Sekhsaria, Mentor, Urban Imprints


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