If you work or live in any of the 13 wards that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has marked to develop parks in, you will be pleased to know that within the next year the sites set aside for the purpose will be returned to the public in a cleaner and greener state. One of BMC’s top goals this fiscal will be to develop 13 gardens in the city. With open spaces scarcely available for the public, the civic body has decided to upgrade and develop the gardens.
Part of the plans is the construction of an esturian park near Mahim creek at a cost of Rs 5 crore that will include walkways, benches and new foliage. At the same time they will also maintain the mangroves in the vicinity. “The condition of gardens in the city is depressing wherein better landscaping is required. The main objective is to create more open spaces as well as increasing the green cover in the city. By doing so, we would achieve both. We had carried out work on 29 gardens last year, which had different themes,” informed an official from the BMC’s garden department, on condition of anonymity.
The civic body has set aside Rs 37.70 crore for developing and beautifying the gardens. As per the plans, jogging tracks, recreational amenities for children, and adequate seating arrangements for senior citizens will made available. Some of the areas that have been identified for development include plots in Kalina and Siddharth Nagar in Borivli, gardens in Bandra, Andheri East-West, Malad, Goregaon, Kandivli and Vikhroli.
In 2011-2012, the BMC spent Rs 60.54 crore on developing and beautifying 29 gardens in the city, which were inaugurated by Shiv Sena Executive President Uddhav Thackeray. These were developed comprehensively with pathways, garden gates and playing amenities for children. In P-South ward, a Vanodyan was created by planting 5,000 saplings, while in Goregaon a unique garden having statues of wild animals was developed. In R-South ward, Kandivli’s Khajuria Tank has been developed into a 10,000 sq m pond along with water fountains. Currently the open space per 1,000 people is merely 0.03 hectares, as opposed to the 0.2 international standard of .2 hectares. In the last two decades, 360 hectares has been acquired for public use by the authorities at a cost of Rs 22,140 crore.