The monsoon’s done with and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has finally decided that the time is nigh to start development work on roads and gardens. One of the plans that has been in the pipeline for almost three years is the revamp of Five Gardens near Dadar Parsi Colony, Dadar (east). A new proposal for the development of the Grade-II landmark will be tabled before the Standing Committee in a week’s time.
The proposed additions include addition of iron and bronze rods as railings at the compound of the gardens. More benches will also be added and the parks will have equipment like see-saws and swings for children. This move will make many visitors to the gardens happy, as senior citizens often come to the park with their grandchildren. People will also have a refurbished footpath for their walks.
There are also plans of increasing the water supply to the garden, and building a water fountain along with recharge ring wells to provide the facility of drinking water. For the gardeners, a separate room shall also be built. The cost of the project is estimated to be about Rs 7 crore. This is the third time in the past four years that the redevelopment of the landmark is being considered.
Officials claimed that the creation of the new amenities had been in the offing for quite some time, but had not begun due to opposition from locals. Earlier, civic authorities had planned to introduce a gazebo (a small pavilion or shelter usually seen in public parks), but locals didn’t want any interference in the landmark that has immense heritage value. Residents have been complaining of a lack of maintenance - as the contracts for maintenance had ended this year.
A senior official from the planning and design department of BMC, on request of anonymity, said, “There are issues with the development of Five Gardens as there are problems from the residents’ end. But this time, the plan is very basic as it is a heritage structure. We have focused on supplying basic amenities to the people like placing various playing equipment for the benefit of children.”
Once the proposal is cleared, work on the project will begin in about two months’ time. Rahul Shewale, standing committee chairman, said, “The development work will begin soon, as the civic body is taking the necessary steps. A draft letter of the plan is expected to be presented in the meeting soon, and I don’t think there should be any problem in its approval.”
What the people say
MiD DAY asked people what their thoughts were on the project.
Prashant S (29), Wadala resident: “We can only hope that in the name of a revamp, the authorities don’t end up in reducing the greenery from Five Gardens
Kartik Iyer (30), Matunga resident: “The playground should be levelled with proper turf. Apart from the gardens, the roads should also be widened and parking is a big problem. Authorities should tackle these issues as well.”