Deadline passes, but BMC still accepting open spaces suggestions

Updated: Aug 22, 2019, 07:57 IST | Chetna Yerunkar

The Mumbai civic body has made public a list of the most common suggestions it received on social media to encourage transparency and participation of citizens.

Deadline passes, but BMC still accepting open spaces suggestions
In July 2018, mid-day organised a roundtable conference, where citizens and BMC officials came face to face to discuss ways of managing the city's open spaces. File pic

Two days past the deadline for submitting suggestions for the city's open spaces, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) continues to receive citizens' responses. It has received a total of 350 suggestions up to the August 18 deadline over drafting the policy for citizen-friendly open spaces. The civic body has made public a list of the most common suggestions it received on social media to encourage transparency and participation of citizens.

Civic officials have done a preliminary assessment of the suggestions before putting them out. Suggestions that unanimously endorse measures such as use of Miyawaki plantations, preference to indigenous plants, easy public access to gardens through public transport, and focus on safety etc have been considered.

There were also ideas regarding creating more facilities for pets, designing a garden eco-system that works well for the physically challenged, and extending the garden closing timings. The points that saw differences in opinions of citizens were: entry fee, garden boundaries, conducting vents/functions/workshops in gardens etc. "We will continue to review more suggestions despite the deadline lapsing," a civic official said.

Inputs welcome

"All inputs received will be deliberated upon before drafting the policy," the civic body posted on Facebook, urging contributors to add references to videos or pictures of their suggestions. "This will help bring in clarity." The BMC also said that it preferred suggestions on the Facebook page, instead of over e-mail.

The civic body had given an August 3-18 timeframe for suggestions on what the gardens should look like, who should maintain them, the timings they should remain open for etc. In 2018, mid-day too ran a Garden Audit series to highlight the state of the city's parks. Ashutosh Salil, deputy municipal commissioner, said, "Social media is a good place to receive maximum responses which is why we chose this medium." Environmentalist Zoru Bhathena welcomes the initiative saying, "It is nice to see the BMC taking suggestions on open spaces. We hope they will truly implement these."

350
Total no. of suggestions received

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