With the endless efforts of residents of Matunga in Mumbai, the city has finally got its first garden-under-flyover. And, it’s a beauty!
The garden has been named as Nanalal D. Mehta Garden and is located under the Tulpule Flyover on Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Road.
It all started when residents under ‘One Matunga‘ group took matter in their hands. They crowd-sourced funds for private security, sweepers etc to avoid it from turning into a dumping ground.
“A few residents informed me about the encroachers and we took it up with the F/North ward (Municipal Corporation Of Greater Mumbai), requesting them to barricade the entire stretch,” Nikhil Desai, a Matunga-based activist told DNA.
Earlier, the stretch was the hangout zone for hawkers, gamblers, drug addicts, etc. but, now it the place where kids can play, people can take a stroll or can just catch up with friends.
After years of petitioning, in 2015, BMC began to redevelop the area. The garden has 300 lights and 11 rotatable CCTV cameras to ensure safety. The project reportedly cost Rs. 5 crore.
Besides that, the jogging track of the garden replicate the flow of Narmada river with granite block having information about the landmarks like temples on the way to the river.
“To get a space in such a crowded area is a boon. It’s also fun as I meet my building friends here and we finish our walk together,” Kritida Patel, a resident of Kapole Niwas told The Times of India.
While the garden flyover has turned into a success story, however, this may not be applicable to all other flyovers. “We must realise not all flyovers can be made into gardens. See Byculla or Sion; crossing to get here itself is a task, so it’s not feasible,” said city-based environmentalist Hema Ramani.