Mumbai: 23 gardens across city to be open for 24 hours
Civic chief Praveen Pardeshi say 23 gardens across the city to be open to public now for 24 hours
After getting longer access to the gardens in the city, Mumbaikars will now be able to walk into certain gardens at any time of the day. Civic chief Praveen Pardeshi has issued directions that the gardens will be allowed to remain open 24X7 from Monday onwards after appropriate security measures have been taken. This paper, through the Garden Safety Audit Round Table, has consistently reported about citizens' demand for longer access to better open spaces. Due to mid-day's initiative, the civic body was considering keeping gardens open for 12 hours. Late last month, the civic body decided to keep all gardens open from 6 am till 10 pm.
The civic body's garden department has compiled a list of 23 gardens across the city that can remain open to the public 24 hours a day. The list, that includes gardens from all wards barring B ward, was compiled and submitted to Pardeshi on Friday. Some of the well known open spaces include Cooperage Bandstand Garden near Mantralaya, Tata Garden on Bhulabai Desai Road, Maheshwari Udyan at King's Circle, Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Udyan in Kalanagar, Patwardhan Park in Bandra among others. While some of the gardens selected are near busy locations like railway stations, others are easily visible from the road and will be convenient to the public.
Activists who have advocated for citizens' rights to open spaces, however, are divided on the development. Nayana Kathpalia, a trustee of NAGAR, said, "It is a good idea provided there is proper security, lighting and the location of these gardens are in residential areas. If the gardens are in isolated areas then they will attract anti-social elements. But it's definitely worth trying it out."
Environmentalist Rishi Aggarwal, however, doesn't feel that leaving the gardens open all day would benefit people. "The idea of keeping them open was to help the target groups including housewives, children, salesmen, senior citizens or couples. Keeping gardens open for 24 hours a day is absurd since no one will use it after 11 pm. Instead, there may be a security situation that may prompt the BMC to go back to the original timings," he said.
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