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Mumbai: BMC extends Patwardhan Park tender deadline for the 11th time

Updated on: 12 December,2023 07:59 AM IST  |  Mumbai
A Correspondent |

Construction of parking lot under open space is sub-judice; activists and residents say the plan must be scrapped altogether

Mumbai: BMC extends Patwardhan Park tender deadline for the 11th time

Bandra residents protest against the proposed parking facility at Patwardhan Park on March 12. File Pic/Shadab Khan

As the matter of constructing a parking lot under Patwardhan Park in Khar West is sub judice, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has extended the deadline to bid for tenders to construct the facility for the eleventh time.

It’s been almost a year since the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) floated the tender on March 6, 2023. With an estimated cost of Rs 75 crore, it concerns the construction of a three-level underground facility beneath a part of the garden. Meanwhile, a petition has been filed against digging up the open space to develop infrastructure.

The new deadline for submitting tenders is January 29, 2024. Earlier, the civic body was extending tender dates by weeks, then it was in fortnight but now the tender extended by two months. “The deadline can be extended and it can be floated many times to get a better response,” said an official from the BMC.

Khar and Bandra residents and activists have been protesting the decision to build on an open space that is used as a playground and venue for cultural programmes. Residents arranged football matches and musical programmes on Sundays to underline the fact that the park is not closed and is used by children.

The BMC mentioned in its report that the plot was occasionally used for community gatherings and was currently closed. Residents claimed that the civic body is planning for a lot for around 300 cars but there are almost 400 car parking spots available in the vicinity and people are not aware of them. Even a car lift in a neighbouring mall was misused and encroached on by other shops.

Activist Zoru Bhathena and two architects, Samarth Das and Alan Abraham, filed a PIL in the high court in the last week of April 2023 seeking that the BMC permanently restrain itself from constructing a parking lot or any other project of a similar nature at the park. The PIL claimed that the civic body's decision was arbitrary as no alternatives had been considered and it could lead to the loss of a natural sponge that protects surrounding flood-prone regions up to SV Road and prevents large-scale urban flooding.

The petitioner informed the court that the municipal corporation had also planned to construct an underground parking lot below the park in 2018-19, but it was shelved on account of public objections and outcry. “Despite continuous complaints from residents, the civic body has been extending the tender rather than scrapping it once and for all,” said Bhathena.

The BMC floated tenders for Patwardhan Park along with two other parking lots—one at Fort and another at Worli. Initially, the final date for bid submission was April 3. In August, the civic body separated the tenders for the other two parking lots and issued work orders for them, as no objections had been raised regarding those locations.

Tender timeline

March 6: Tender floated
April 3: Original deadline for tender submission
April 10: First deadline extension
April 17: Second deadline extension
April 24: Third deadline extension
May 9: Fourth deadline extension
May 24: Fifth deadline extension
June 23: Sixth deadline extension
July 24: Seventh deadline extension
August 25: Eighth deadline extension
October 25: Ninth deadline extension
November 28: 10th deadline extension
January 29: 11th deadline extension

Jan 29, 2024
New deadline for submitting tenders

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