While the Shiv Sena opened a dog park on Carter Road last year, the BJP has now come up with its own initiative to create a park exclusively for South Mumbai’s pooches. In a city starved of open spaces for people, and more so for pets, BJP corporator Makarand Narvekar has put up a proposal to set up a dog park in a garden at Cuffe Parade that will be equipped with several facilities and the first to be maintained by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
A pet owner himself, Narvekar put up the proposal to set up a dog park in a 900 sqm garden near the World Trade Centre at the end of Cuffe Parade because of the lack of open spaces for dogs to play in. “I, like many other residents who are pet owners, feel that there is hardly any open space in the city where dogs can run around and play with other dogs. While the western suburbs have an option or two, South Mumbai has none at all,” said Narvekar.
The proposal, to set up what may be South Mumbai’s first dog park, submitted by Narvekar includes facilities like a water station, a sand pit, play equipment, a dog salon, a veterinary doctor and a kiosk with a seating area for pet owners. Aesthetic elements will include a water rock cascade, gravel fill and pavements. The proposed park that will have a sea view has been demarcated into three zones for small, medium and large dogs.
Narvekar said pet owners will be given plastic dispensers to clean up after their pets and those would later be disposed by the BMC. “We are still in talks with the ward officials regarding a proper manner of disposing dog faeces,” he said.
Civic officials said there has been a growing need for a designated area for pets. “Last year, after clean up marshals were introduced, we started fining pet owners who did not clean their dogs’ poop from the Marine Drive promenade. Members of the Cuffe Parade Residents’ Association had asked for similar action in the area. But it will be a better idea to give them a designated area where the dogs can play,” said Kiran Dighavkar, the assistant municipal commissioner, A ward.
The plot where the dog park will come up is a garden that was earlier maintained by a private trust and later taken back by the BMC before the implementation of the new open spaces policy.
Dighavkar added that an estimate of the plan has been prepared amounting to Rs 26 lakh. “We will submit the plan and its proposal to the competent authority and can start work once the approval is granted. The dog park will then be maintained by the BMC,” he said.