Dadar TT flyover to house Mumbai's largest garden under a bridge

Updated: Feb 12, 2019, 14:41 IST | Hemal Ashar

Buoyed by the success of similar garden under the Matunga flyover, BMC prepares the ground for Rs 4.5-crore park in Dadar

Dadar TT flyover to house Mumbai's largest garden under a bridge
The cleared space underneath the flyover, once a parking lot for cabs and buses

The underbelly of Dadar TT flyover is set to transform from a dusty parking lot to a lush, green park, bang in the middle of one of the city's most chaotic roadways. Once chock-a-block with all kinds of cabs parked under the flyover, this space will soon become Mumbai's largest garden under a flyover - 53,538 sq ft in total. It will have five separate zones for fitness, kids, the elderly, sports, along with a multipurpose area.

Also known as the Jagannath Shankar Sheth flyover, this stretch was also home to the state transport's Shivneri bus stand underneath. The bus stand has also been moved to make way for the garden. Amey Ghole, local corporator from Shiv Sena, said, "We had cleared the space months ago for a garden. We will have a bhoomi pujan between February 22 and 25."

The BMC's proposed layout for the multipurpose zone
The BMC's proposed layout for the multipurpose zone

Five zones
This is in line with the BMC's plan to create green spaces beneath flyovers across the city. This garden will bring a slice of serenity to an area that witnesses torrid traffic at peak times, is a frenetic mix of the commercial with the residential. Ghole said, "We have to work at transforming the space. I am confident that this project will become a yardstick for similar gardens."

Citizens will find a much-needed change of pace at any of the garden's five designated zones for fitness, kids zone, senior citizens, sports and a multipurpose area, stretching across 293.9 metres. "The idea is to have a separation and still have a seamless blend of theme and material. A lot of rock will be used, so that maintenance is easy and inexpensive. A distinctive feature will be the grass on the pillars of this massive flyover. These will make vertical gardens within the garden," said the corporator, adding that, "a waterfall is planned in the middle."

Nikhil Desai
Nikhil Desai

Mumbai: Joggers' track under Dadar TT flyover soon

Election stunt?
Nikhil Desai, Matunga resident who is also co-ordinator for non-profit Agni for F-North ward, said, "I live very close to Dadar East. The first garden under the flyover at Matunga was a resounding success. So, it is great that this model is being replicated. The work, though, should have started earlier, as High Court had banned parking under flyovers nearly a year ago."

He stressed further, "I think I speak for everybody when I say that a penalty clause must be in place for the contractor if there is an inordinate delay in the project, otherwise it will be seen as an election stunt."

"A plan must be put on the board for public display and time granted for objections and suggestions by public. I hope CCTV cameras are installed for the safety of walkers in the garden," he added.

Ghole, though, dismissed the suggestion that this may be an election gimmick. "There is a timeline of 11 months for completion. There is a certain process to be followed, this is no election stunt. We are spending R4.5 crore on this, and it will likely be the biggest under-the-flyover garden in the city. "There will always be scoffing and scepticism, questions about safety. We are going to keep security, special timings for the garden," he concluded.

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