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HindustanTimes Sun,21 Sep 2014

Protests force changes in garden plan

Bhavika Jain, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, January 05, 2011
First Published: 02:08 IST(5/1/2011) | Last Updated: 02:10 IST(5/1/2011)

Taking serious note of complaints by residents against restoration work of Five Gardens in Dadar, the Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee (MHCC), has directed the civic body to do away with certain elements in the original plan.

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A sub-committee of the MHCC had, last week, inspected the Mancherji Edalji Joshi Gardens popularly known as Five Gardens, which is a grade III heritage precinct and decided that the proposed footpath around the central garden would be done away with and a small landing area created instead by shifting the gates to the back.

Also, the central garden will have a fountain at the centre and not a bandstand as mentioned in the original plan.

The architect department of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had started the project in 2009 and this is the second time the MHCC has had to intervene.

In June 2009, the MHCC had served a stop-work notice to the Municipal Architect (P&D) department after it saw violations in the plan approved by the committee.

“We have directed the BMC to do away with the footpath around the central garden as it eats into the green space and also, it is a turnabout for traffic so nobody will be using the footpath,” said Dinesh Afzulpurkar, chairman MHCC.

Even Mayor Shraddha Jadhav had disapproved of the current restoration plan after inspecting the site in November.

“In a city that has a dearth of open spaces, Five Gardens is one of the largest open spaces in central Mumbai and the BMC should keep it open,” said Nikhil Desai, an activist who filed the RTI query on the project.

The committee has also said the pathway created in Garden B, also called the fortune garden, will not be constructed in the other gardens.

“The BMC must restore the precinct and not renovate it,” said Zarine Engineer, granddaughter of Mancherji Joshi, founder of the Dadar Parsi Colony. The development of this garden will cost Rs. 6 crore.


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