The amchi Mumbaikar fondly calls Mumbai’s first garden under a flyover at King’s Circle as their ‘walker’s paradise.’ The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) constructed the D Mehta Garden under the Tulpule Flyover in June.
This unique initiative was built at a figure of Rs 5 crore over the space of 700-metre. The locals wanted to create a place that would be free of vagrants or park vehicles. The garden has an ornamental plant surrounding the area and includes a jogging track as well.
What is beautiful about the project is, it is designed to depict the flow of Narmada, whereas the sitting arrangements look like ghats of the river.
How did the entire initiative start?
The project got the go-ahead four years back when the flyover was opened for the use of the public. The Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority has built three flyovers which included the Tulpule flyover as well. It was noticed that each flyover had an area under it that could be used for a better cause.
It also came to the resident notice that the field below the flyover was either used for unauthorized parking or shopkeepers who were illegally operating shops there. The people who resided in areas nearby approached the municipal commissioner Sitaram Kunte to take some action at the earliest.
The Municipal Commissioner then took this matter to the garden department to ask if there was a possibility of a garden there. Soon tenders started flowing, and now this area is a place where Mumbaikars get their own space in a crowded city.
But the good thing about the entire initiative is no one single handily takes the credit for the project. The civic body believes it was only possible because of the resident residing in the area who cooperated with them to make this project a reality.
But the question will we see more projects in the future?
That, for now, remains impossible as no other flyovers in Mumbai have areas where a garden can be built. All the other flyovers have a minimal area that is used for people who use it for crossing.
Whereas in the case of Mehta garden, the area under the flyover was quite large. So it can be used for walkers, children families who can simply walk under the flyover and have some fun.
Well, this is not the first of its kind initiative. A similar concept is adopted in Bengaluru, where an area under the Metro corridor is used as a flea market every month’s first weekend.
This kind of concept can also be seen in London, Tokyo, New York, etc. The areas under the flyover are used for building shopping complexes, cafes, etc.
But what remains to be seen is when Delhi will turn its crowded areas under the flyover into parks and green belts?