Punekars push for all public gardens to be opened… PMC considering proposal

PUNE Residents in Pune are demanding all gardens under the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) in the city be reopened.

The PMC commissioner had granted permission to reopen 81 of a total of 203 gardens in the city, from November 1, 2020.

PMC has not taken any decision to reopen the remaining gardens.

Many citizens and corporators are questioning this passive approach.

“Many residents have approached me regarding the reopening of all the gardens. It will ease the load of existing opened gardens. I am writing a letter to the commissioner to open all the gardens. Everything else is opened. Why should it be a problem to open the gardens?” said Aditya Malve, corporator from Shivajinagar and a member of the Tree Authority.

PMC has reopened 81 gardens with health and age criteria for the visitors and restrictions of activities in garden premises.

Also, the gardens are open for fewer hours than before. Most gardens used to open from 6 am -11 am and 4pm-8pm.

These hours were reduced to 6am – 8am and 5pm – 7pm. Citizens are raising this issue on social media platforms.

Amit Paranjape questioned such time restrictions on Twitter. “Restaurants, malls, etc. are open for a while now. Why are gardens still running limited hours?” he tweeted.

“There is no problem in reopening all the gardens. People have been demanding that. I feel that the old timings of gardens (6-11 am, 4-8.30 pm) were appropriate. They should be in place,” said Dipali Dhumal, corporator from the Warje area.

Only personal exercises such as running and walking are permitted in the garden premises.

Yoga groups and laughter clubs are still prohibited according to the order.

“On one hand the administration emphasises immunity boost and on the other hand prohibits the activities which boost immunity. They should open all the gardens and put safety protocols in place. Many senior citizens are facing psychological problems because of this. They don’t have other places to socialise. Exercise and fitness should be promoted,” said Makrand Tillu, trustee Navchaitanya Hasyayog Pariwar (a laughter club in the city)

PMC officials said that they have been considering this demand seriously and trying to open more gardens in the city. “We have considered this public demand to reopen more gardens. Pune municipal commissioner has taken a meeting with all the departments today. This issue was raised in that meeting and he has demanded a report on how many more gardens can be opened. We are preparing this report. More gardens could be opened by next week,” said Kunal Khemnar Additional Municipal Commissioner

“There is no problem in opening the gardens I feel. If all the safety precautions are followed then there should not be any problem in opening the gardens,” said Jayashree Deshpande, a resident of Sinhgad road.

“Gardens are essential for the city’s residents. I think all the gardens should be opened with safety measures,” said Anand Saraf, a resident of Sadashiv peth.

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