mid-day report gets BMC to keep Bandra garden open 24/7

Updated: Sep 30, 2019, 07:29 IST | Prajakta Kasale | Mumbai

mid-day impact: Days after reports that the park shuts after 10pm, authorities concerned take necessary steps to keep it open 24 hours

According to the garden department, while the park sees a considerable footfall during the afternoon, the response after midnight is quite poor. Pic/Atul Kamble
According to the garden department, while the park sees a considerable footfall during the afternoon, the response after midnight is quite poor. Pic/Atul Kamble

Just a week after mid-day did a sundown tour of 23 public parks in the city and found the gates of Bandra's Rao Saheb Patwardhan garden to be closed after 10pm, the authorities concerned took the required steps and started keeping it open 24x7, in accordance with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's (BMC's) directives. However, according to the garden department, while the park sees a considerable footfall during afternoon, the response after midnight was quite poor.

Towards the beginning of this month, the civic body had decided to keep all gardens open in the afternoon, and as part of a pilot project, allow access to one garden in each ward 24x7. The Rao Saheb Patwardhan garden of 18,000-square-metres area is one of the most well maintained gardens of Bandra and was selected to be kept open all day and night. However, even after the civic body's directives, the local ward office did not keep it open 24x7 as local residents and corporators were against it.

When mid-day did its garden audit earlier this month, it came to the fore that even though the nightlife in the suburb was buzzing, the Patwardhan garden was shut at 10pm. There was no board announcing the new timings and two security guards were sitting inside, in front of the gate. One of the security guards, Appasaheb Sardesai, had said that BMC's decision had not been implemented and the garden would shut after 10pm. Local corporator Swapna Mhatre had said that the security guards were not enough and people residing in the nearby buildings didn't feel safe about the garden being open at night.

However, when contacted, she said that she wasn't aware of the garden being kept open round-the-clock. Speaking to mid-day, Ashutosh Salil, joint commissioner (Garden), said, "The garden was closed for a few days after residents expressed fear of nuisance and criminal activities at night. But we have provided extra security and have also taken help from the police. The garden is now open round the clock."

He also said that though many people visit the garden during afternoon hours, hardly anybody was seen after midnight. Resident Sunil Khosla, who had earlier opposed the BMC's directive, said, "A 2,000 watt halogen bulb needs to be placed at the centre of the garden as the area is completely dark. Also, CCTV cameras should be installed to keep criminal activities at bay."

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