Let us plug all loopholes of Gardens@24/7

Updated: Sep 16, 2019, 07:47 IST | A correspondent | Mumbai

Some of these gardens include Cooperage Bandstand near Mantralaya and Tata Garden at Bhulabhai Desai Road

Tata Garden on Bhulabai Desai Road is a wellknown public space in Mumbai. Pic/Bipin Kokate
Tata Garden on Bhulabai Desai Road is a wellknown public space in Mumbai. Pic/Bipin Kokate

After getting longer access to the gardens in the city, Mumbaikars will now be able to walk into some of them at any time of the day. Civic chief Praveen Pardeshi ssued directions that the gardens will be allowed to remain open 24X7 here onwards with appropriate security measures.

Some of these gardens include Cooperage Bandstand near Mantralaya and Tata Garden at Bhulabhai Desai Road. This newspaper did a garden audit over the weekend, fanning across the city, to check out how the gardens-open-all-through-the-night policy was working.

Let us try and have watertight security. Several gardens have two or more gates. These have to be manned by security personnel. We have seen that there is a staff crunch in this aspect. There also needs to be high quality CCTV surveillance at the entrances, exits and near the gardens.

Lighting should be bright and every corner of the garden should be visible. Lights need to be placed strategically and maintenance has to be top notch. The audit showed that lights were alright, but beware of the ones that go on the blink or some part of a garden that plunges into darkness at times, because a light has been broken or damaged. The authorities will have to be extra alert about this.

We all know that gardens will be particularly inviting to nefarious elements when they are open all day and night. While the BMC's intentions are good and this may be a welcome move in a city starved of open space, every safeguard must be in place. Otherwise Mr Pardeshi and Co. might just have to go back on their plans or see it boomerang in an unexpected way. It is very early days for Gardens@24/7 but to sustain this, look at all aspects and plug in every loophole.

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