Is BMC leading us up the garden path?

Jul 21, 2013, 01:45 IST | Chetna Yerunkar

Over 500 BMC-owned gardens in the city maybe lying in a state of neglect for months after the contracts with private parties, who maintain them, were not renewed. But that has not stopped the municipal corporation from promising 55 new gardens in the city -- including ones they hope to convert into theme parks

Many of the 600-odd municipal gardens in the city could do well with a decent clean up, a bit of care and some urgent repairing. But those can wait. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is going ahead with grandoise plans to develop a further 55 open plots into parks, converting at least one of them into a jungle-themed park. While some of them will be recreational grounds, others will have just pathways and shrubs.

A plan of the proposed garden at Borivli West

The BMC is also focussing on revamping existing parks. The old toy aircraft at the Juhu Tara Road garden will be replaced with a new concrete one. As the aircraft was in a dilapidated condition, the BMC proposed to replace it with a new body, as it was a major attraction for kids. Likewise, in Borivli West, an area of 7,862 square metres having more than 550 trees will be converted into a jungle theme park replete with more lawns and shrubs.

A senior official of Garden Department, on condition of anonymity, said, “We have sent the proposals to the Municipal Architecture department who will finalise the drawings and primary designs.”

When asked why weren’t the existing gardens maintained properly, he explained, “The maintenance contracts ended in March. Neither the contracts were extended nor new tenders were floated in April due to a technical problem. Usually tenders aren’t floated from June to October due to the monsoon. As a result, the gardens continue to remain dirty.”

Nutan Ghodke, municipal architect of BMC, said, “We have about 55 gardens at the proposal stage and once the drawings are ready we would forward this to the user department (the department from whom the proposal has come) and the completion would depend on when they decide to pass a specific proposal.” 

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