BMC plans to provide facilities like a designated play area to attract the crowd
Lal Bahadur Shastri Udyan in Worli was left to fall to ruin after being shut for repairs a few years ago. The revamp includes a senior citizens' area, with a gazebo and an open gym. Pics/ Tanvi Phondekar
The civic body has taken a big step towards reclaiming its lost spaces. It has proposed the redevelopment of the iconic Lal Bahadur Shastri Udyan in Worli at a cost of Rs 10 crore. The ambitious revamp includes a swimming pool, a children's play area, a gazebo for senior citizens, a jogging track, an open-air gym and a waterfall, all within the 44,031-sqm space that the garden occupies.
The 39-year-old garden was one of the few open spaces to be developed on a reservoir, like the Hanging Garden in Malabar Hill. It fell into ruin several years ago after it was shut for repairs. It turned into a den for anti-social elements and drug addicts, forcing others to keep away from the green lung.
The issue of the garden's depredation was raised by local Yuva Sena leader Abhijit Patil in September last year. In a letter addressed to the civic body, he wrote about its misuse as a dumping ground and by anti-social elements. Sources said he followed up with then Mayor Snehal Ambekar and BMC authorities repeatedly, forcing the civic body to set out to right this wrong.
Satish Jadhav, executive engineer of the garden cell department, BMC, said the standing committee has cleared the revamp proposal. "We will soon start the beautification work. The contractor will have to complete the work in 18 months."
mid-day has accessed the blueprint of the proposed swanky garden.
Patil said the garden, which had been inaugurated by late Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray, was a popular hangout spot for locals at one time. "It was shut when the reservoir needed some repairs. But after the work was completed, it was abandoned. There is already a shortage of spaces [in the city]. The garden's redevelopment will go some way in addressing that problem."
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