In an effort to increase Mumbai's green cover, 100 saplings of different varieties of plants were planted at Chhota Kashmir Garden at Aarey Milk Colony, on Tuesday.
Around 20 people along with 10 children were a part of the plantation drive, where saplings such as Tetu, Mahua, Putranjeeva, Umbar, Pipal, Kanchan, Karanj and Sita Ashok were planted along the periphery and certain isolated locations in the garden. The initiative was a joint effort by Save Aarey Conservation Group and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), Vanashakti and Greenline.
“Chhota Kashmir Garden, once the pride of Mumbai, has been gradually disappearing. This place was a must-see tourist attraction in the city and the venue for many film shoots. Tuesday’s drive was a small attempt to restore the glory of Mumbai’s forgotten legacy,” said Stalin D, environmentalist, Vanashakti.
Environmentalists said that spots within Aarey such as the Chhota Kashmir Garden and the picnic spots needs to be revived.
“For an evening out, people these days prefer the mall. Children are missing out on the fresh air that such spots offer as opposed to the air-conditioned rooms that they are used to,” said Kaustabh Bhagat, member, Greenline.
While garden authorities at Chhota Kashmir Garden have welcomed the initiative, they are sceptical regarding the garden’s maintenance. With an entry ticket of Rs 5 a head, the garden collects revenue of around Rs 2,000 every day.
“We have been paying more than Rs 1 lakh to the state government on a monthly basis from the garden’s earnings. But, basic amenities such as a boundary wall have not been provided,” said Diwakar Kamat, supervisor, Chhota Kashmir Garden.