Mumbai: Room for urban squares being suggested in gardens

Updated: Dec 28, 2018, 08:20 IST | Chetna Yerunkar

Civic chief Ajoy Mehta had accordingly instructed ward officials to come up with locations where art can be displayed. Ward officials pointed out that many gardens are likely to go out after members of the commission evaluate the list

Mumbai: Room for urban squares being suggested in gardens
Ward officers have suggested garden spaces for artists to display their work. File pic

Several of the BMC's assistant municipal commissioners (AMC) seem to have missed the brief and taken an easy way out of suggesting spaces for developing 'urban squares' that will host and promote local art and culture. A majority of them have suggested using already developed gardens to further build the squares that will display art.

Missed the mark
The idea behind the initiative was to develop a new, neighbourhood space for citizens to visit and celebrate local art and culture. While many AMCs stuck to the brief and identified new open spaces where events can be organised once or twice a month, several others recommended the safest option - gardens.

A senior civic official said, "The idea was to attract artists and give them a space that can be visited by art lovers. This was to be done by each ward office so that art enthusiasts didn't have to travel all the way and crowd one space, where others have come to enjoy a garden. That cannot be our way of giving them something new."

Ward officials defended the choice saying traffic was a major concern along with lack of free and available space in the suburbs, which is why gardens were suggested. A ward officer said, "We have developed amphitheatres that are lying vacant and if they are used for musical performances, it will be great. Apart from the gardens, there is very little space that can be used for displaying art but we have tried to propose a few such locations which can be used for some kind of exhibition."

Art commission may reject?
This comes over a year after Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced the formation of an urban art commission for Mumbai on the lines of the same body in Delhi.

Civic chief Ajoy Mehta had accordingly instructed ward officials to come up with locations where art can be displayed. Ward officials pointed out that many gardens are likely to go out after members of the commission evaluate the list.

The commission is likely to be implemented next year, after the ward officers submit identified locations to the committee. Umesh Nagarkar, the BMC officer associated with the commission said, "The identified locations are yet to be evaluated by the committee members."

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