Cricket ruins Thane traffic garden

Updated: Dec 28, 2016, 18:54 IST | Shrikant Khuperkar |

In a shocking case of civic apathy, Thane district’s only traffic garden, which was once a learning centre for school children, is now lying in a severe state of disregard

In a shocking case of civic apathy, Thane district’s only traffic garden, which was once a learning centre for school children, is now lying in a severe state of disregard. 

The garden, which is situated in the Dutt Nagar area near Shrikhande Wadi in Dombivli, falls under the purview of the traffic police department and Kalyan Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC). However, neither party is claiming responsibility for the upkeep of the garden.

Constructed in 2007, the garden was the brainchild of late Surendra Bajpayi, former principal of Tilak Nagar High School. With functional traffic lights, signboards, roundabouts, pathways and zebra crossings, the garden was intended to provide ground-level education to students about traffic rules.

Initially, it was maintained by the KDMC, which provided round-the-clock security. Every week, the traffic department would invite school children and educate them about traffic rules. Incidentally, KDMC had also spent R19 lakh in 2015 to renovate the property.

However, since the last one year, the garden has been lying in shambles. The lack of security and absence of a watchman has converted the space into a “play garden” for youth. They play cricket here and damage the garden’s equipment with their sporting gear, said a local.


Traffic signals and signage boards have been destroyed at the garden

When this reporter visited the spot, the signage boards had been destroyed, and the traffic lights were broken. The absence of streetlights also makes it an unsafe spot for women, who frequent the garden with their kids.

When contacted, Govind Santu Gambhire, traffic in-charge of Dombivli claimed that the garden is supposed to be maintained by the KDMC. “Our department only provides training here,” the officer said.

When mid-day reached out to Rajesh More, Shiv Sena Corporator, KDMC, said that a civic staff cleaned the garden during the day. “It’s impossible to provide 24 hours security here. But, I will meet the civic commissioner and see what can be done,” More said.

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