Mumbai’s landmark Five Gardens in poor shape after Rs 5 cr revamp

  • Vaishnavi Vasudevan, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Aug 03, 2015 23:24 IST

Here’s another example of ineffective spending of taxpayers’ money. The central fountain at Five Gardens in Matunga, which was constructed six months ago, is already non-operational.

The Brihammumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) spent Rs 5 crore to revamp Mumbai’s landmark. The lawns are already in poor shape and many of the sprinklers do not work.

The revamped garden was inaugurated with much fanfare by Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray. The civic body, which is ruled by the Sena, has failed to maintain the garden. As departments point fingers at each other over the poor shape of the garden, residents allege that the beautification project was an eyewash.

“The fountain has not been working for two months now. All other equipment in the garden are in a shambles. For instance, most of the sprinklers in Five Gardens do not function. The lawns are not maintained and the railings are broken. The gardeners’ room, which was dilapidated, still remains the way it was and it is unsafe for the workers to stay there,” said Nikhil Desai, a resident.

Recently, the local ward office wrote to the contractor that carried out the beautification project, asking them to repair the fountain. However, the contractor refused to carry out the work as the BMC had already appointed another contractor to maintain the garden, Desai pointed out.

Priayanka Padwal, a frequent visitor to the garden, said, “The only good thing about the beautification is more equipment have been installed in the children’s garden. Other than that nothing has changed. The benches are broken and the fountain, which was a major attraction, does not function. Also, there are hardly any lights here.”

Deputy superintendent of gardens (zone II), MK Khan said the department was clueless about the fountain. “I will inquire if the fountain comes under the guarantee period with the contractor. We have no clue how it stopped functioning. We will check with the contractor concerned. The rest of the maintenance work in the garden is been done by another contractor.”

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