BMC’s apathy parked at this Ghatkopar open space
Locals in the vicinity have been complaining to the civic body about the broken amenities of the park for the last six months
Mumbai Residents of Ghatkopar (East) have stopped visiting the Shankarrao Genuji Adhangale (baba) Udyan, as the park, as it stands now, mirrors Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) apathy towards maintaining public spaces.
Locals in the vicinity have been complaining to the civic body about the broken amenities of the park for the last six months. The space is now frequented by anti-social elements, which has alienated people even more.
Amol Lalzare, member Video Volunteers, a media and human rights organisation, which empowers citizens to report local issues using videos, released their film on the park’s poor condition on YouTube and tagged the ward officer on Twitter in May 2022.
Since then, Lalzare and other locals of the area have also written to the BMC and visited several officials, but it has had no effect on the governing body. “The park is not adequately lit. It’s dark early in the morning and in late evening. BMC needs to install more lights to ensure that the place is illuminated,” said Lalzare. Four street lights installed here stop functioning frequently, said locals.
A local social worker, Mahendra Adhangale, who is the grandson of Late Shankarrao Adhangale, who is known in the community for setting up schools in the area for underprivileged kids, told HT, “There is no sand on the ground nor is there space for citizens to walk. Kids’ play equipment and gym paraphernalia are broken. N-Ward officials offer verbal assurances and acknowledge our letters; but nothing comes of it.”
Fifty-year-old Sharda Jadhav said many women from the vicinity want to come here for a breath of fresh air, to exercise or take walks, all of which are denied to them given the park’s current state of disrepair. “Local youth often use this space to drink alcohol, which makes us feel rather unsafe. I live very near to the park but have to keep my doors shut and curtains drawn at all times because of them,” said Jadhav. “The exercise equipment is broken and there is no water or sand for the park. If maintained well, kids can play here and senior citizens can come for a walk.”
An official from the garden department of the N-Ward told HT, “I have sent the contractor supervisor today to the park. The equipment was fine when I visited it last. If there is anything broken, we will repair it. I will also visit the park once more and check.”