The gardens department of the BMC now has proposed that they will keep gardens, playgrounds, recreation grounds, parks and other open spaces open from 6 am to 9 pm.

Mumbai : Mumbaikars may soon be able to take a stroll in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC)-run gardens whenever they wish as the civic body is thinking of keeping all of their 600 parks open for 15 hours a day.

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.

As of now, citizens can’t access majority of the civic-run green spaces between 11 am and 4 pm and after 8 pm. The gardens department of the BMC now has proposed that they will keep gardens, playgrounds, recreation grounds, parks and other open spaces open from 6 am to 9 pm.

Jitendra Pardeshi, superintendent of gardens, said, “This decision is taken considering the way people function in Mumbai. Working population normally doesn’t get access due to restricted hours.”

Another senior civic official said they keep these gardens shut in order to maintain them. “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.”

City activists have been constantly criticising the corporation for having dictated such timings until now.  “Do they acquire the open space to keep it closed after 7-8 hours? Or to ultimately usurp it and construct a tower over it? The timings at which these parks are kept open are also odd,” said Hiren Joshi, an environmentalist and social worker.

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