The Horniman Circle Garden, supported by the Tatas and managed by an NGO, is one of the most undervalued spaces in Mumbai. It is green, full of trees and plants, cool. A quiet lunch can be savoured in an allotted area,
And for anyone who wants to read books or browse through newspapers in different languages from all over the country, there is the large reading hall in the Town Hall just across the road.
Horniman Garden is also turning into an ideal place for hosting citizens’ meetings. Shyam Chainani’s book Heritage and Environment:an Indian Diary was released there recently. Last Wednesday, a lecture was organised in memory of conservation architect Sandhya Savant by the Urban Design Research Institute,with special reference to the famed Jaisalmer Fort.
Savant had been involved in the fort’s conservation and had clicked several photographs which were shown on the occasion.
Conservation architect David Cardoz and structural engineer Sudhir Deshpande, formerly of Cambridge University, pointed out that in the Rajasthan deserts, the improper use of water, is proving to be detrimental to the fort which is a tourist landmark.
Beneath the fort’s sandstone layer, there is mud stone which softens on coming in contact with water, slowly turning the foundations into jelly. The damage has been wrought mainly by the careless drainage of water by the hotels. In fact, the tourist guide book Lonely Planet has advised tourists not to stay in hotels on the fort to prevent damage to the monument.