From mill to museum
While run profitably until the 1960s, the group of mills were nationalised by the National Textile Corporation (NTC) in 1974, and over the past decade wound down. In a plan first proposed in 2009 — when NTC gave the India United Mills 2-3 to the city as a reserved public space — the Municipal Corporation will open the 15-acre compound to the public in 2019, a century and a half after its launch as one of the city’s first mills.
The museum is planned with exhibits on the history and future of textiles in Mumbai, Maharashtra and India, from handlooms to mills to modern powerlooms. Sadly, NTC still has no clear plans for its 12 remaining mill compounds in space-starved Mumbai.
Dr Shekhar Krishnan is a historian and social scientist who works with the Greater Mumbai Municipal Corporation Estates Department. You can follow him on Instagram and Twitter @bombayologist
Photos by @bombayologist