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Mumbai civic body reclaims 2 open spaces in Bandra and Santacruz, serves notices to 4 others

The BMC is yet to take over another 40 open spaces maintained by private entities.

mumbai Updated: Sep 17, 2017 01:30 IST
Eeshanpriya MS 
Eeshanpriya MS 
Hindustan Times
open spaces,Mumbai,Bandra
Veer Savarkar Udyan in Borivli (west) is among 40 open spaces which are yet to taken back.(HT)

After a lull of a few months, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has resumed its efforts to reclaim open spaces. It has taken back a garden near Mount Mary Church at Bandra and a recreation ground at Santacruz. It also issued notices to four more caretakers of open space on Saturday.

The BMC is yet to take over another 40 open spaces maintained by private entities.

Saturday’s notices were served to a playground and a recreation ground in Bandra, a recreational ground near the Eastern Expressway near Chembur, and a playground in Kandivli. In August, the BMC issued notices to five open spaces to reclaim the last 42 plots. Two plots among these five were returned to the BMC last week.

The reclamation of open spaces is part of BMC’s new open spaces policy, which is being formulated. Last year, it started taking back 216 open spaces it had leased out to private organisations for maintenance.

It reclaimed 174 plots before it stopped issuing new notices. After a gap of a few months, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis recently directed the BMC to reclaim the remaining 42 open space. Since then, the civic body has served nine notices, including the four on Saturday. It has now managed to take back 176 plots. Jitendra Pardeshi, superintendent of the gardens department, said, “On Saturday, we sent out a second batch of notices. Within the next few months, the BMC will take back the remaining 40 open spaces.”

According to him, caretakers can’t challenge BMC’s decision on reclamation of open spaces in court as it has already filed a caveat in the Bombay high court.

Pardeshi said even though only two open spaces from five that were issued notices in August have been handed back, the others have not shown resistance and are in the process of transfer. Some of the prominent open spaces to be taken back by the BMC include Swatantra Veer Savarkar Udyan in Borivli and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Kridangan in Kandivli (both maintained by BJP MP Gopal Shetty’s Poisar Gymkhana) and St Xavier’s ground in Parel, maintained by Mumbai District Football Association chaired by by Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray

First Published: Sep 17, 2017 01:30 IST