mid-day impact: Babulnath garden thrown open to public after 8 years
Just two days after this paper wrote about the Babulnath Bandstand garden, or the Seth Tulsidas Kilachand Garden opposite Chowpatty, which had been locked for eight years, it was once again thrown open yesterday, much to the delight of locals.
The opening ceremony took place as lights lit up the little green lung at the start of Dady Seth Lane 1. The chief guest was Amruta Fadnavis, wife of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. There were also BJP state vice president Mangal Prabhat Lodha and corporator Jyotsna Mehta who told this reporter triumphantly, “I have kept my promise!” as she had stated earlier that the park would open this month.
Also read: A garden? BMC, beg your pardon
The grass is greener on this side: The garden holds old memories for many locals. PICs/Atul Kamble
“Thank you, thank you, mid-day,” said the residents, even as the garden started filling in with more Babulnath residents, many of whom had been living in the area since half a century, growing up on the grass and memories associated with this garden.
The CM’s wife, Amruta Fadnavis was the chief guest at the function
Even as the BMC band started playing in the rotunda in the midst of the garden, Aruna Shah, one of them said, “I will start walking here, now.” Some residents said that they are looking forward to benches being put, and improved security. Others stated, “We will have our celebrations here.”
The BMC security band at the inauguration
Narayan Tolani of Malabar Hill claimed that he will “bring Indian Idol singers to sing for free in the garden, as entertainment”, while Vasanti Parekh said she will encourage all bands with her presence. “Even if nobody comes to listen, I will,” she stated. Birju M said, “The children’s play area should be upgraded and we can bring our kids here.” Another resident Prasha Mudra agreed. Senior citizens hoped that a structure in the corner, which was built as a library, “will be given to senior citizens.” Many claimed that the undulating ground needed attention. Brothers Shantibhai Shah (80) and Ramesh Shah (73), as well as Lina Loyalka, said that senior citizens used the Nana-Nani Park at Chowpatty but “this garden is good for those who find it difficult to cross the busy road.”
Mukesh Modi said, “It is a great first step, thanks to the media attention.”
As the official felicitations began, and the band began to play, Amruta Fadnavis told the residents, “South Mumbai is reclaiming its cultural heritage and I feel proud to be a part of it. I hope you all really make use of this space.”