An open gymnasium with treadmills, exercise cycles and cable pulleys, the largest bonsai gardens of the city, a rock galleria and a 1,358.73-metre long jogging track will now stand where the erstwhile Bombay Dyeing’s sprawling mill properties once stood at Wadala.
The 8.4-acre Wadala plot, which will now be under the control of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), will have designated areas for activities by children, fitness-conscious people as well as senior citizens and students. Besides the usual gazebo seating and designated lawns for performing yoga, meditation, laughter club, the Wadala plot will have lawns for artists, special circular lawns for reading and themed water fountains. The garden will also have a 1017.87-sqm play court, besides an amphitheatre and a 2015.36-sqm play area for children, according to the layout plan.
The BMC’s garden cell has sent the approximately Rs 5-crore project’s landscape plan to the gardens department for approval, said an official. Of the total 8.4 acres, 65 per cent area will have lawns, shrubs and hedges, while 35 per cent of the area will be occupied by pathways, jogging tracks, gazebos and other utilities.
According to the garden cell, the Wadala plot will also have a Hutatma memorial to commemorate the Samyukta Maharashtra movement. “Samyukata movement milestones will be placed near the rock galleria, a first one in a Mumbai garden. Rock gallerias are otherwise seen only in Thane district gardens,” said the official.
In November 2013, the Bombay High Court had allowed Bombay Dyeing to surrender its Wadala and Lower Parel plots to BMC and MHADA under Integrated Development Scheme as provided under the Development Control Rules (DCR), giving BMC a large area to create open spaces and public amenities. But the plot is yet to come under the possession of the BMC. “The Wadala plot land will be handed to the BMC within 15 days,” said the garden cell official, adding that work on the garden will begin only in October.