As part of an effort to spruce up the area and give residents an open space, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is planning to set up a garden near Milan Subway in Santacruz, on a plot which is currently encroached upon by beggars and hawkers.
The initiative has been taken up by the H-West ward office, after the land was recently handed over by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) to the civic body.
Sharad Ughade, assistant municipal commissioner of H West ward, said that the civic body would clean up the area and utilise the space for better use.
The MMRDA has handed over three plots, which have been lying vacant for a long time, to the BMC. While the details are still being worked out, ward officials said they are planning to create a garden in two of the plots and construct a pay-and-use toilet on the third one.
According to the plan sketched out so far, the garden will include a jogging track and a stage for yoga and other exercises. Playing equipment will be set up for children.
Assistant engineer M Z Syed said that the wired plot of land is now in a bad condition and is occupied by beggars and unlicensed hawkers. “There are a lot of senior citizens in areas such as Khotwadi, but there are no gardens nearby. So, we thought of converting the plot into a garden for senior citizens and children,” he said.
Syed said that ward officials are in the process of finalising a budget for the garden and the public toilet and are awaiting the approval of senior officials.
The H-West ward officials are also taking up the initiative to clean the area under the skywalk near the Santacruz station.
“People park their cars and hawkers sell their wares here, which becomes an impediment to pedestrians and causes traffic snarls too. We are planning to construct strip gardens from column to column under the skywalk. We can get rid of the hawkers and smoothen traffic movement,” said Syed.
He added that the strip gardens will be laid for a 100-metre stretch below the skywalk from S V Road to the Santacruz railway station.