It was one of Navi Mumbai’s most beautiful gardens. Today, with dug up walking tracks, overgrown trees, open feeder boxes, dry grass and filth all around, the Tata Garden Sector 9 A, Vashi is a glaring example of sheer neglect. Due to its shabby state, people have stopped visiting the park, especially senior citizens.
Senior citizen R S Shetty recalled, “This garden was developed around 20 years back by Tata Electrics Company as their officers were staying in nearby societies. This was one of the most beautiful gardens in Navi Mumbai having the highest number of botanical plants that were given names five years back.”
He said there were six benches for senior citizens to take rest after morning or evening walks. As there are religious and social institutions nearby, marriages were organised on regular basis. “There were two gardeners who used to work in two shifts, but today there is only one gardener and is thus unable to maintain the garden.”
Another senior citizen Vijay Kumar Ladkani said, “Around six months back, all the benches were removed from the garden and kept in the store room. Just one was kept out for us senior citizens. It was surprising that one of the benches was found outside Reshma CHS near the bus depot. Senior citizens generally have backache or knee ache making it difficult for them to sit on the ground. We tried to find out the mystery of the missing benches from the gardener, who informed that it was done on orders from higher-ups. We request to provide at least one more bench to us so that male and female senior citizens can sit separately.”
Dinesh Mehta, also a senior citizen said, the garden once had lights all around which have now been replaced with two high masts that fail to give enough light at all the corners. “A focus light was also added which never worked. Earlier, many mothers used to bring their kids to play here, but now the amusement facilities have gathered rust and only the fibre-made games are left which kids hardly enjoy.”
Senior citizen Gopal Nadar pointed out, “There is no public toilet here. We have to go to the bus depot which is really difficult. Unfortunately, some people use the corner of the garden which is very embarrassing and unhygienic.”
Om Prakash Kheda and Chelaram added, “There are pits on the walking tracks, open feeder boxes, dry grass, filth all around the garden, etc.”
Assistant Garden Officer Vijay Kamble was not available for comments.
The senior citizens of Sector 9 A through Dainik Jagran Cityplus have demanded the following at the earliest:
- 10 fixed benches must be installed.
- Two gardeners for two sides in two shifts.
- Huge entrance gate.
- Garden must be kept closed from 12 midnight to 5 am.
- New amusement equipments must be installed.
- Public toilet must be built.
- Proper light system and safety measures.
—Jaspal Singh Naol