#SecretMumbai: How The Plague Sparked Life Into Mumbai's Auto Industry

After the plague of 1896, Mumbai had to be re-engineered in order to improve its ventilation. To this end, new roads were built to let the sea breeze from the west flow to the east, as well as to connect new developments in the north to the city in the south. It was during this time that Sandhurst Road and Hughes Road were built. Their proximity to the tony Malabar Hill area made them popular locations for auto dealerships in the city. Many establishments on the stretch from Opera House to Kemp's Corner-Canto, Bagh and Westside-were once auto showrooms displaying imported cars.

Did you know? Shri Pant Bhawan, where Standard Chartered Bank is located today, was home to Dadajee Dhackjee and Co., dealers in Mercedes, Packard, Hillman and other cars. It even had a car lift that could carry two cars up to the terrace.


Published in The Mint on 8th August, 2019.