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Longer hours for citizens to access gardens and open spaces in Mumbai

Currently, citizens are denied access to a majority of civic-run green spaces between 11am and 4pm and after 8pm

mumbai Updated: Aug 04, 2018 14:09 IST
Sagar Pillai
Sagar Pillai
Hindustan Times
Mumbai parks,BMC gardens,Public parks
BMC garden at Bhoiwada.(HT Photo)

Can’t take a stroll in the garden after work because it is shut? Soon, gardens may stay open for 15 hours a day, as the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is finalising the plan to extend the timings for most of its 600 gardens and recreation grounds.

Currently, citizens are denied access to a majority of civic-run green spaces between 11am and 4pm and after 8pm. The gardens department of the BMC has proposed to keep gardens, playgrounds, recreation grounds, parks and other open spaces open from 6am to 9pm. Civic officials say the decision has been taken, considering the way people live and work in Mumbai.

Activists have been consistently pointing out that the working population does not get access to gardens, as most reach home only after the gardens are shut. BMC chief Ajoy Mehta will take the final decision on the timings and the proposal to increase the number of security guards deployed at gardens on August 14. “We are looking at all aspects [of the issue]. A discussion on the timings of the gardens will be held soon,” said Mehta.

Another senior civic official said, “We have to maintain these gardens, which is why we keep them shut in between. Now, we may keep the garden partly open for public, while the maintenance work will be carried out in the rest. Also, some gardens are shut because of security reasons, which will be considered while finalising the timings.”

Naina Kathapalia, a trustee of a citizen’s initiative NAGAR, said, “We live in a city where people work at different times. Going by BMC’s norms to keep the gardens open, a majority of the population does not have access to green spaces. The civic body cannot dictate the timings.”

First Published: Aug 03, 2018 23:35 IST