After star-studded inauguration, Mumbai garden closed to the public

Jio Garden, inaugurated by CM Devendra Fadnavis last week in the presence of Mukesh and Nita Ambani and celebrities like Amitabh Bachchan, Sachin Tendulkar and Ranbir Kapoor, has not yet opened its doors to the common man

In a city starved for open space, the inauguration of any garden makes for big news. Thus, when the chief minister dedicated the Jio Garden at BKC, developed by MMRDA and RIL, to the city’s people on Wednesday, several Mumbaikars marked their calendars and decided to visit it at the earliest available opportunity.

The 13,000-sq-m garden, developed by MMRDA and Reliance Industries Ltd, in BKC’s G-Block was shut when mid-day visited yesterday. Pics/Satyajit DesaiThe 13,000-sq-m garden, developed by MMRDA and Reliance Industries Ltd, in BKC’s G-Block was shut when mid-day visited yesterday. Pics/Satyajit Desai

One such excited citizen was Bandra resident Anupam Gupta, who had read about the inauguration of the garden by CM Devendra Fadnavis in the presence of Mukesh and Nita Ambani and celebrities like Amitabh Bachchan, Sachin Tendulkar, Ranbir Kapoor and Yuvraj Singh, and decided to visit it with his family yesterday. (Click here to view pictures from the event)

The who’s who of the city had attended the inauguration on May 27
The who’s who of the city had attended the inauguration on May 27

When he got to the BKC’s G-Block, where the garden is located, however, the security guards informed him that the garden has not been opened yet and was being given finishing touches. In a Facebook post, Gupta wrote, “Maharashtra Chief Minister dedicated Reliance Jio Park in BKC to public last week.

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I don’t know which city’s public he dedicated it to, because when we went there this morning it was closed. We asked when will it be thrown open to the public and the security guard said, ‘Woh humko kuch pata nahin. Abhi bandh hai’. Anyone? When does this posh park open?” mid-day also visited the garden later in the day.

The 13,000-sq m garden in BKC’s G-Block was shut yesterday
The 13,000-sq m garden in BKC’s G-Block was shut yesterday

“The garden is not yet open for the public as some finishing work is on. I cannot comment on the opening date as the decision will be taken at the higher levels, but we are expecting that it will happen at the earliest,” said a security guard.

Abhishek Bachchan, Sachin Tendulkar, John Abraham, and Ranbir Kapoor

MMRDA speak
MMRDA officials were also present at the inauguration on Wednesday, The authority’s Joint Project Director, Dilip Kawathkar, said, “The permission process of opening the Jio Garden is in progress and the garden will be opened for the public at the earliest.” An e-mail and text messages sent to the RIL spokesperson remained unanswered.

The May 27 inauguration was attended by Amitabh and Abhishek Bachchan, Sachin Tendulkar, John Abraham, and Ranbir Kapoor, among others
The May 27 inauguration was attended by Amitabh and Abhishek Bachchan, Sachin Tendulkar, John Abraham, and Ranbir Kapoor, among others

Green lung
The 13,000-sq m Jio Garden is a joint initiative of Reliance Industries and MMRDA, and there is a two-storey state-of-the-art parking lot below it. Each parking level has an area of 33,546 sq metres and a total of 2,000 vehicles can be accommodated in the lot. The garden has a multi-purpose, non-toxic synthetic turf and ‘panic buttons’ have been installed on pillars inside so that women can use them in emergencies.

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