Get public spaces out of legal wrangles

By The Editorial | Mumbai

Updated: 29 January, 2020 07:43 IST

The project has substantial input from locals who were involved in its design, along with politicians in the area, making this a truly collaborative community effort

A newly opened senior citizens' garden at Cuffe Parade was a welcome and timely Republic Day gift for locals. The vacant plot was earlier usurped by a private residential tower in the vicinity. Civic authorities managed to wrest the space back and after work that went on for a few months, the garden was opened on Sunday for residents.

The project has substantial input from locals who were involved in its design, along with politicians in the area, making this a truly collaborative community effort.

Spaces that have been lying vacant for years for some reason or the other are susceptible to encroachment and sometimes are kept locked, cutting off access to the public. The civic administration needs to act on these spaces so that there is a suitable resolution and, subsequently, these are opened to the public.

In a city where citizens are virtually squeezed out of land, every bit of public space must be given to locals so that it can be used for the community's greater good. We see so many spaces in legal wrangles and it is heartbreaking to note access for the public is cut off because of deadlocks between individuals, private organisations and the BMC, which has woken up late and then, is struggling to resolve the matter.

At times, civic authorities allow land to remain unavailable and unused and things are resolved only after determined and desperate intervention by some politicians at the grassroots level.

Once given to the public, it is up to the locals to use the facilities with respect and care. Consideration for others and the generation coming after you must be prime during usage. We have seen donors and non-profits at times, distancing themselves from projects because they have gone to seed in a year or two, after funding the same. Let authorities give to the public and let the community show gratitude by using facilities and ensuring they are maintained with some Tender Loving Care (TLC).

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First Published: 29 January, 2020 06:54 IST

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