Mumbai: Once housing barracks, a road that is now home to politicians, bureaucrats

Central Bank of India was founded by Sir Pochkhanwala
Central Bank of India was founded by Sir Pochkhanwala © Nirmal Harindran

Sir Sorabji Nusserwanji Pochkhanawala was a founder of the Central Bank of India, one of the oldest and largest commercial banks in India. After studying abroad, Pochkhanawala returned to India and wanted to establish an Indian-controlled bank as against the British-dominated banking system prevalent then. The bank was founded on December 21, 1911 by Pochkhanawala with Sir Pherozesha Mehta as its chairman. Pochkhanawala was knighted in 1934 for his services to banking in India and formally invested with knighthood at the Viceroy’s House (now Rashtrapati Bhavan) on March 1, 1935 by then viceroy, the marquess of Willingdon. The Sir Sorabji Pochkhanawala Bankers Training College in Juhu has also been named after him.

City historian Deepak Rao said, “At one point, it was a deserted corner of Bombay. Hence, during World War I, the British set up barracks over there. However, the barracks were later used by the armed police. Also, the Worli jail was located on this road. As a result, even today, several police units are located over there.”