Mumbai’s first garden under flyover at Matunga gives sufficient open space to pedestrians in an otherwise crowded city. It is a novel idea to develop a garden under the flyover to avoid vehicles being parked in the space available or dissuade street beggars from using the space at night for sleeping. The garden is a great initiative and it is located under the Tulpule Flyover in a peak pocket of the city. It is time to stop encroachment and misuse under the flyover and some Samaritans chose to beautify the place to give a new look and at the same time give the public a recreation space to keep them fit with a regular routine walk.
The area where the garden is situated was used as hangout place for hawkers, gamblers and drug addicts. Matunga residents wanted to utilise the space for proper use and took the lead to make their dreams come true. We come across encroachers under most of the flyovers and this particular bridge cater to the needs of the public. The layout of the garden is planned in such a manner so that it serves a place where citizens can hangout in a space starved city. BMC had barricaded the garden to make sure that illegal activities are not taking place in this corridor. Thus Matunga residents and citizens from nearby areas will make use of the garden for recreational purposes.
From 2011 to 2016 the area did not assume any importance and all of a sudden better council prevailed as citizens took initiative to beautify the place. A formal approval in 2014 after repeated requests to authorities yielded the result and now we look at a garden like the one existing in Singapore or Dubai with greenery and colourful light around and it has become a major attraction. The garden has been designed to look like a river bed. The architects and engineers worked on this project studied the flow of the river and tried to replicate the facsimile of Narmada on the garden pathway. The 600 ft long pathway is blue in colour with replications of rock formations as found on the banks of the river and it is a great delight to the eyes. A granite block in the garden carries information about the landmarks on the way to the river.
The garden which has become a landmark place for Mumbaikars may tempt other states to look for such an arrangement beneath the flyovers to maintain cleanliness and keep encroachers at bay. Moreover, residents can have a glimpse of the green surroundings in the best way possible day and night.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)