Garden audit: BMC writes to cops seeking security around Mumbai gardens

Updated: Sep 16, 2019, 07:23 IST | Prajakta Kasale | Mumbai

As civic body aims to hire more security guards for its gardens that will be open 24/7, it also asks cops to increase surveillance around these areas

Lalbaug's Manoranjan Park has seniors, women and young men take in fresh air way past midnight ever since the park was thrown open all day and night. Pic/Datta Kumbhar
Lalbaug's Manoranjan Park has seniors, women and young men take in fresh air way past midnight ever since the park was thrown open all day and night. Pic/Datta Kumbhar

While deciding to keep 23 gardens in the city open for the public 24x7, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's (BMC) primary concern remains security. In order to ensure that the parks are safe for people at all times, the civic authorities had written to the Mumbai police on September 9 requesting them to increase surveillance and patrolling in and around the gardens.

However, even though the BMC received a positive response from the top brass on September 11, mid-day found out that the local police stations were still not aware of the development and had not received an official communication yet. In view of a long-pending demand of citizens to keep the gardens open for longer hours, the BMC decided to keep them open all day from September 9. Through an audit conducted by mid-day, it found the gardens to have proper lights but few security guards to keep vigil at night.

After the civic body wrote to the city police and sent the list of the 23 gardens that would be open at night as well, a letter from the office of Joint Commissioner Ashutosh Salil had been sent to Joint CP (law and order) Vinoy Kumar Choube. But when mid-day enquired with the local police stations, it was discovered that the cops had not received any official communication either from the ward offices or from their seniors.

Speaking to mid-day, Suryakant Gaikwad, senior inspector of Shivaji Park police station, under the jurisdiction of which Aaji-Aajoba garden is located, asked his team to find out whether any letter had been sent to them, but they couldn't find any. "We are still patrolling the area round the clock and taking care of security," said an officer from the police station.

Similarly, Kishor Gaike, senior inspector of Oshiwara police station, under the jurisdiction of which Walawalkar garden is located, said, "I am aware of the extension of the garden timings and have instructed the beat officer accordingly." Even after repeated attempts to contact Joint CP (law and order), Choube, he was unavailable for comment.

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