In 1988, the building project of the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) of Maharashtra state commissioned the office of architect Raj Rewal to design 1048 housing units. Despite a very low budget Rewal set out to develop a home environment that was simple and of high quality.
The site of the project is hilly, and unlike most other developments in New Mumbai, it has been designed embracing the terrain rather than trying to defeat it. For this reason it has been considered an important architectural example in a city where the design of public housing is driven solely by the ability to accommodate density.
23 years later, many of the units remain vacant. Most are facing practical problems of leakages, inadequate light and ventilation in houses, unused open spaces, lack of transportation, lack of medical facilities, etc. Since the Income Tax department bought most of the buildings, this colony was nicknamed the Income Tax Colony.
These pictures are not the entire story, they are just a part to create awareness and re-tell a forgotten tale. Abandoned spaces are a postlude to a life once lived and therefore make for good stories. There is no intention to document this structure. This on the contrary is the photographer’s own artistic expression.
Abandoned, whilst capturing the mood of the space, does raise the inevitable question about why such a well-intentioned and designed project has come to be largely unoccupied and fallen to disrepair, in a city severely lacking in low cost housing.
After graduating in Architecture from Bombay, Deepshikha Jain pursued a Master’s in Photography from Paris. She can easily be seen as a hybrid, having embraced one world without abandoning the other. She has exhibited in the Paris gallery Chambre Avec Vues and has toured widely across France and India capturing Le- Corbusier’s works. She has also traveled widely across Africa and Europe, at times just to see why a certain piece of Architecture is so rated and at times to be mesmerized by it.
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