Coronavirus outbreak: BMC unsure but some wards shut down parks

Updated: Mar 19, 2020, 08:00 IST | Prajakta Kasale | Mumbai

Gardens across the city are visited by around a million people every day, mostly senior citizens and children. But closing all of them down would take away the city's green lungs from its people, BMC officials fear

B N Maheshwari Udyan in Matunga had its gates closed on Wednesday
B N Maheshwari Udyan in Matunga had its gates closed on Wednesday

While the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has not yet reached a decision over the closing of gardens across the city, some ward officers have decided to close a few parks in their jurisdictions. Maheshwari Udyan in Matunga, Sion Fort, and Chintamani Garden in Borivli are some parks that will remain shut for a few days.

Gardens across the city are visited by around a million people every day, mostly senior citizens and children. But closing all of them down would take away the city's green lungs from its people, BMC officials fear.

"There isn't any circular or order from higher authorities to close the gardens yet. The decision has to be taken on ward level as per the situation," said an officer of BMC's garden department.

"The number of visitors in Maheshwari Udyan is large. The garden is usually open 24 hours and is frequented by mischief mongers. So we decided to close it up to at least March 31," said an officer of the F North ward.

On similar lines, Chintamani garden in Borivli West too has been closed from Wednesday. Many morning walkers figured it out after they reached the garden gate.

There are around 1,000 parks across the city.

'Need space for travellers from middle-east'

BMC Commissioner Pravin Pardeshi told reporters on Wednesday that the Central government had claimed a large number of Indian passengers would be returning from middle-east countries. "They have to be quarantined for 14 days and need larger space. The beds in private hospitals and hotel rooms near airports will be used for it," said Pardeshi.

Private real estate developer CREDAI has approached the BMC and offered empty flats in their buildings for quarantine purposes. "It is a good initiative but as of now the rooms in hotels near the airport are enough and we will avail the flats if and when necessary," said another civic officer.

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