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Mumbai: Citizens object to repair work being carried out at Khar BMC garden

12:02 AM Jun 17, 2021 | Pratip Acharya
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Bandra, Khar and Santacruz residents have expressed their discontent at the repairs being carried out by the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) at Madhu Park, Khar (West). Famous among residents for recreational activities, the garden has a grill fencing around it. Residents alleged that BMC has been working toward removing the grills and constructing a compound wall around it. Environmentalist and activist Zoru Bhathena, who is a resident, has filed an official complaint on the matter. Bhathena has said that erecting a compound wall around the park will block the view of the garden.

"Gardens are meant to be open spaces, so I don't think there is any reason to concretise its surroundings," Bhathena told the Free Press Journal on Wednesday. "The iron grills have been there for so many years. There hasn't been any security issue all these years, which is why it makes us wonder about BMC's decision to construct this wall," he said.

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Civic officials, however, have confirmed that the grills will not be removed and the construction work is being carried out to increase the height of the plinth.

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"The plinth of the wall will be increased by 0.3 metres and the damaged and rusted grills will be replaced. This will not affect the visibility, rather will beautify the structure" said a senior official from BMC.

"Rajesh Khanna Park had the same compound wall around it. We had made the entire garden visible by breaking a two metre height wall. If we can do that, then why will we raise a compound wall outside Madhu Park," said the official.

Bhathena had also tweeted the issue, following which various citizen's forums urged BMC to reconsider its decision. Hindi film actor Pooja Bhatt also tweeted on this issue. "I couldn’t agree more. Why are we building a brick wall around a park @mybmcWardHW @mybmc the sight of green even from afar works as a much needed balm. Please change course on this decision" read Bhatt's tweet.

Another citizen's association Mumbai North Central District Forum (MNCDF) has also filed an official complaint to the municipal commissioner and local H West (HW) ward office against the construction of the wall. "Breaking the fences and erecting a compound wall will create security issues. After a wall is built, one cannot look inside the park and this may lead to an increase of unscrupulous activities taking place inside. Also, instead of making and breaking walls, BMC can install facilities like gym equipment inside the park," said Trivankumar Karnani, founder and spokesperson, MNCDF.

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