In a move that will be welcomed by local residents, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has decided to reopen 31 of the over 200 gardens and parks across the city. But there is a rider: residents can use the park only for exercises such as walking and jogging, no other activity is allowed.
“The PMC has a total of 204 gardens. A list of gardens that are outside containment zones has been prepared… these are relatively large parks and social distancing norms can be maintained by residents during their visit,” said Ashok Ghorpade, garden superintendent of PMC.
The reopening of gardens, after being shut for over two months during the nationwide lockdown, is part of PMC’s efforts to ‘unlock’ the city in a phased manner.
The 31 gardens will be opened for public use for two hours in the morning and evening. “The gardens will be open from 6 am to 8 am and 5 pm to 7 pm,” said Ghorpade.
But the parks can’t be used for public gatherings, warned the PMC. “Local residents will not be permitted to do anything else other than physical exercise like jogging and walking. They won’t be able to use the open gymnasium equipment, or the lawn and benches… no crowding in the gardens will be allowed,” said Ghorpade.
However, in accordance with nationwide lockdown guidelines, no person above 65 years of age, pregnant women and children below 10 years will be allowed to enter the civic gardens.
The security guard at each garden will be responsible for ensuring rules and regulations are not violated, said Ghorpade. ”It will be mandatory for local residents to wear masks in the garden… chweingtobbaco and betel leaf (paan) will be a punishable offence,” he said.
“The security guards have been instructed to close the gardens immediately if the guidelines are violated,” he added.
The gardens to be opened soon include Sambhaji Park in Deccan, Kamla Nehru garden in Erandwane, Panchvati garden in Panchvati, Hirwai garden on Prabhat Road, Pt Bhimsen Joshi garden in Bhusari colony, Dr Shyamaprasad Mukherjee garden in Patwardhan baug, Shahid Pradip Tathawade park in Karve Nagar, Tatyasaheb Thorat Park in Kothrud, Sinhagad Vikas Garden in Vadgaon Budhruk, Ahilyadevi Holkar garden in Katraj, Sanjay Mahadeo Nimhan garden in Someshwarwadi, Galande Patil garden and jogging park in Kalyaninagar.
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