mid-day Impact: BMC to open city's first arts and crafts village Shilpgram from Sunday

Oct 13, 2018, 09:00 IST | Laxman Singh

mid-day impact >> Following this paper's series of hard-hitting reports, officials to finally throw open Jogeshwari crafts village to the public on October 14

mid-day Impact: BMC to open city's first arts and crafts village Shilpgram from Sunday
The sale of arts and crafts at Shilpgram won't start until a manager is appointed

Here is some good news for citizens. After mid-day's consistent reports about the delay in its inauguration, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will open the city's first arts and crafts village, Shilpgram tomorrow.

Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar wrote to municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta on October 8, asking the administration to make arrangements for the inauguration on October 14. But while it will be thrown open, the sale of arts and crafts won't start, as the search for a manager is still on. The development of Shilpgram, located in Poonam Nagar at Jogeshwari east, was completed over a year back, but it was not inaugurated since the civic body failed to appoint a manager for operational and maintenance work. The BMC had spent about Rs 25 crore on the project.

Shilpgram will be inaugurated on Sunday
Shilpgram will be inaugurated on Sunday

mid-day had first reported about the Matoshree Meenatai Thackeray Shilpgram Udyan (September 6, September 28 and October 8) waiting to be formally inaugurated for over a year. The BMC had decided to appoint a manager to operate it as the place was to sell arts and crafts on the lines of Dilli Haat. However, it got stuck in red tape and there was no decision on the appointment, which led to the delay in opening.

'Lush green space'
Speaking to mid-day, Shiv Sena corporator Anant Nar, who has been following Shilpgram since its initial plans, said, "After many follow ups with the administration, now Shilpgram will be opened for citizens. Since the appointment of a manager is yet to take place for its commercial purpose, the administration has agreed to keep it open during the evening for visitors. It is such a beautiful lush green place and developed for people so they should get to see it as it is the first of its kind in Mumbai."

He added, "I have also spoken to the administration for the appointment of a manager to start Shilpgram's commercial use. The business plan and policy to run this place is ready and administration has assured that soon they will implement it."

Citizens of Poonam Nagar are also happy with the civic body's decision to open the arts village. "We are glad to know Shilpgram will be opened. We are sure it will be a tourist attraction and hope BMC will make all necessary arrangements to tackle the traffic. People deserve such attractions and this one will make life around the Mahakali area more interesting," said Vishwanath Shetty of Mahakali ALM.

Commercial matters will wait
Speaking to mid-day, Deputy Municipal Commissioner (DMC), Dr Kishor Kshirsagar said, "Shilpgram will be thrown open for the public on Sunday evening. The decision on the earlier plan of commercial stalls will be taken after sometime, since as of now our focus is on the opening of this green space."

Shilpgram sights
The Shilpgram has fountains, a gazebo, a children's play area, an amphitheatre, and shops that will sell authentic handicrafts. The park is full of murals of 'Bara Balutedar', which was a village servant system of 12 trades, like barbers, washers, potters, carpenters, etc.

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