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Mumbai: Skate park locked just three months after opening

Updated on: 05 July,2023 07:18 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Eshan Kalyanikar |

Skaters scale gate to use facility located under Hindmata flyover and plagued by a leaky roof

Mumbai: Skate park locked just three months after opening

The skate park under Hindmata flyover has been locked since its inauguration three months ago

The skate park under the Hindmata flyover at Dadar—which was announced five-years-ago but began construction only late last year—has remained locked since its opening in April. The new facility has also been plagued by a leaky roof, causing water to collect on the track. This hasn’t stopped the enthusiastic skaters from using the park, with many climbing over the gate to gain access. However, the skaters are at risk of getting injured while climbing up or jumping over the gate, apart from the increased danger due to the presence of stagnant water on the track.

“We spend around one hour cleaning up the water before we start skating,” said Azar, who has been coming to the park since June after discovering on social media that the facility existed. Designed with the intent to provide skaters with a dedicated space to practice during the monsoon, the skate park was to serve as an alternative to open spaces like Carter Road that are impractical for the sport during rainy weather.

Skateboarders cleaning the track before practice. Pics/Ashish Raje
Skateboarders cleaning the track before practice. Pics/Ashish Raje

Azar has been a skater since 2012 and travels all the way to Dadar from Thane. This is the first time he and many others like him have found a space where they can skateboard during the monsoon. “Even the lights here were not working until a few days ago,” he said. However, the main issue faced by the skaters is the stagnant water. “Despite the cleaning, it remains a little risky to skate on. So we end up utilising only one side of the park,” another skater, Akash Gandhi said.

The park is designed to accommodate at least four beginner-level skaters at a time, but currently, only one person can use it while the others have to await their turn. “There are more than 10 people using the park and the age ranges from eight-year-olds to adults in their early 30s,” said Azar, who also holds skateboarding classes.

The skate park was proposed in 2018 as part of BMC’s beautification project, with the civic body deciding to convert the vacant spaces under the flyover into recreational public areas. The total cost for six such spaces under three flyovers in south Mumbai, including the skate park, amounted to over Rs 4 crore.

Mahesh Patil, additional municipal commissioner, F-South ward, told mid-day that the park was locked after some alcoholics were found loitering there. “We will set fixed timings and open it again soon,” he said. When asked about the leaky roof, Patil directed mid-day to the bridges department. However, officials from the department remained unavailable for comment.

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