Is Priyadarshani Park losing its sea face?

A mere five minutes' drive from the Chief Minister's bungalow in the plush Malabar Hill locality in South Mumbai will lead you to an unseemly sight.

A huge pile of debris has been dumped behind Priyadarshini Park, which residents say, is causing the shoreline to recede. 

Debris dumped near the sea during the ongoing construction work at
Malabar Hill's Priyadarshini Park

PIC/Urvashi Seth

Napean Sea Road residents have written to the Mumbai City Collector, Chandrashekhar Oak, and officials of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to bring this to their notice.

However, this is not the first time that they have faced illegal dumping of debris. Speaking to MiD DAY Sunil Dhabale, a resident of the locality said, "The park is undergoing redevelopment since June 15. Three months were allotted for that project. However, we see trucks loaded with construction debris entering the park and unloading it by the sea."

At the time the work started, residents were told that only river sand will be used as construction material.

"However, cement has been used and the debris is being deposited on the beach. Proper removal of debris was one of the conditions laid down to the developers, which they have ignored. This will cause a huge environmental impact," said resident Umesh Ghadshi. 

The 69,635 square metre Priyadarshini Park is managed by Malabar Hill Residents' Forum. Residents feel that with the dumping of the debris, the area of the park is slowly being extended.

Assistant Municipal Commissioner P R Masulkar (D Ward) confirmed that the BMC has stopped three dumpers from visiting the site. "Construction work is being carried out and the money is coming out from the MLA fund," he added.

Oak's team visited the park after receiving complaints. "My team has visited the site and we found some illegal
activities taking place there. The final report will come to me in a few days," he said.

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