Located at a distance of 34 km from Mumbai towards the north, Malad East is a peaceful suburb that has quickly developed in recent times into a coveted destination. Geographically speaking, Malad East belongs to the Konkan region as can be seen from the native-tongue spoken by many residents there. Malad East has no fancy beginnings, nor did it undergo any cataclysmic phases of growth. Its evolution has been rather smooth.
As a matter of fact, Malad as an area, consisted of the hamlet of Orlem and other villages such as Kharodi and Rathodi, back in the 19th century. In those days, it consisted of just 12 families. But today, the packed streets of Malad show no resemblance to that era. Malad East is a vast suburb by itself, and made of many sub-areas and streets. Dindoshi Pada, Suchidham, Mira Nagar, and Sankalp Colony are a few sub-areas of Malad East that lie to the south of this locality.
Malad East is a well-developed locality that has all the common facilities required by a modern, urban population. Residents of Malad East have shopping malls to fulfil their shopping needs, supermarkets for their grocery requirements, and hospitals to keep themselves healthy.
Comprising ample infrastructure, Malad East is located close to the sprawling Sanjay Gandhi National Park and the ancient Kanheri caves, which are over 2400 years old. Lovers of the ocean will be glad to know that the beaches of Aksa, Marve, and Erangal are very accessible.
Mahindra Nagar, one of the sub-areas in Malad East, was nominated as the second-most pollution-free locality in Mumbai by Eureka Forbes.
Connectivity and transit points
The Western Express Highway (WEH), among the widest and busiest stretches of road in Maharashtra, runs right through Malad East. An 8-10 laner, this expressway connects Mumbai to all of its surrounding suburbs. Beyond the city limits, this road is known as the National Highway NH-8, which goes all the way up till the national capital of Delhi. It passes through nearly all of the suburbs in Mumbai.
Similar to the connectivity by road, connectivity by rail in Malad East is hassle-free and convenient. Malad Railway Station is located exactly between Malad East and Malad West. It is accessible through Swami Vivekananda Road for residents of Malad West and through Poddar Road for Malad Easts residents.
Bus transport proves to be easy as well, with well-placed bus stops lined up throughout Malad East. Of the numerous bus stops in this suburb, the Malad East bus stop located along Poddar Road serves as a major transit point. Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) operated buses frequently move through Malad East, connecting it with other surrounding suburbs and to the Mumbai city.
The Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport lies merely 10 km away, and can be accessed through the Western Mumbai Highway. For anyone looking at other means of commute, taxicab services operate actively in Malad East. The ubiquitous Indian auto-rickshaw is also another preferred mode of short-distance transport, with rickshaw stands placed at almost every other corner.
Fatima Devi English School
Factors for growth in the past
Malad was earlier a sparsely populated area comprising a few villages and settlements. Pastor Fr. Joseph Maria Braz de Souza helped build the first school (St. Annes High School) in Orlem, which is now a neighbourhood of Malad West. Indias first film company, Bombay Talkies was also founded here, in 1934 by Devika Rani and Himanshu Rai.
By the 1970s, a number of families who were natives of the land had sold their properties to real estate developers, thus sowing the seeds for the next phase of development, which would completely urbanise Malad East.
The Western Express Highway has also played a part in the revitalisation of Malad East. Due to this roads excellent connectivity, property in this suburb became treasured. Eventually, a number of renowned housing projects were established, pushing up the property value of the area. This led to a spurt in the number of residents moving in and settling down in the suburb.
In Malad East, traffic congestion during peak hours can be a concern, making daily long distance commute annoying.
According to the Environment Status Report of Greater Mumbai 2012-13, water pollution in Malad East has increased by 14 percent in the recent times, especially during the monsoons. This is certainly a cause of concern. But that this fact has come to light may invite movement on resolving the matter.
Poor construction and maintenance of roads has also been a cause of worry, with gaping potholes causing unavoidable inconvenience for the commuters.
Factors for growth in the future
Mumbai Metro, touted to be a level up in public transportation, is already active along the Line 1. Line 2 will be completed soon, if everything goes according to plan, and will be passing through Malad. This latent development in the future will increase the areas connectivity tremendously.
Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has also proposed a plan to develop and improve the existing Malad-Marve-Manori INS Hamla Road.