LOVE your parks mumbai is a volunteer-driven organisation with the vision that one day every Mumbaikar will have unrestricted access to abundant, welcoming and user-friendly Public Open Spaces. #loveyourparksmumbai
Bombay Greenway aims to create open spaces for communities to thrive in and encourage alternative modes of transport. #turningspacesintoplacesmumbai
Citizens can submit their suggestions or objections to the Garden Adoption Policy until October 10, 2023, at 4 pm by email
Send this letter today to secure a healthier, more vibrant Mumbai!
Dear Sir/ Madam,
Sub: Preserve Mumbai's Public Parks: Keep Them Public!
We are writing with reference to MCGM notification SG/OD/257 dated 01.08.2023
In the referenced notification, it is noted that the MCGM is seeking input from the public at large for the purpose of developing a revised Garden Adoption Policy, for the maintenance and upkeep of all Open Spaces.
We are writing to express our deep concern about the aforementioned policy, since it will decrease transparency and accountability.
With an annual budget of over 52,000 crores, the BMC claims it does not have the resources to improve and maintain parks and playgrounds in Mumbai. The annual budget for the same - only 350cr!
Instead of creating new parks and open spaces to deal with the swelling population; the BMC now aims to give up for "adoption" our valuable public spaces.
It's important that we oppose this new Adoption Policy to protect our Open spaces.
Who is impacted?
Mumbai's sprawling metropolis, home to over 21 million residents, faces an imminent threat that touches every single one of us. Our public parks, playgrounds, and open spaces, the very lifeblood of our city, are at risk of being privatized. These are not just plots of land; they are the essence of our communities, where our children grow, our families connect, and our neighbourhoods thrive.
The stakes couldn't be higher. Mumbai already ranks among the world's lowest in terms of open space per capita, with approximately 1.1 square meters (11 square feet) of open space per person. If we allow privatization, we risk creating a city divided—some of us with access to green oases, while others are left in concrete jungles. It could mean losing vital spaces for exercise, relaxation, and socializing.
Time for Action
There's no more critical time to act than now. Our city's population continues to surge, and the need for accessible green spaces has never been greater. With the pandemic underscoring the importance of outdoor spaces, these parks are crucial for our mental and physical well-being. Yet, in a city with over 21 million residents, we have just 1.1 square meters (11 square feet) of open space per person, compared to the recommended 10 square meters.
Mumbai's Open Space Index is a mere 2.5%, lagging far behind global cities like London (33%), New York (27%), Hong Kong (40%), and Singapore (47%).
Approximately 1.5 million children in Mumbai deserve safe playgrounds for their growth and development.
Accessible green spaces can help reduce air pollution, mitigate the urban heat island effect, and enhance biodiversity.
A robust open space policy and budget allocation would cost a fraction of the funds proposed for privatization.
The Need for a Better Policy
We believe that Mumbai deserves a comprehensive and well-structured garden, playgrounds, and parks policy. This policy should encompass common rules, signage, aesthetics, and maintenance standards across the city. It should ensure universal access, with drinking water, toilet facilities, lighting, and security in all open spaces. These spaces should remain open throughout the day so that everyone can enjoy them. We propose a policy that equalizes funding, ensuring that all parks benefit equally. Presently, there's a risk that private entities may prioritize areas with more spending power, exacerbating economic disparities in the quality of parks.
We urge the city to adhere to international standards and enhance the quality of our open spaces. These spaces aren't just optional extras; they form the bedrock of our environmental, economic, physical, and social well-being. In the face of our ever-expanding population, it's imperative that the city both safeguards and expands its open spaces, especially given its ever-expanding population.
The Budget Conundrum
While the BMC allocates a substantial budget for constructing and maintaining roads, the question arises: why not allocate a similar budget for our parks, which would only represent a fraction of the funds earmarked for roads? The BMC occasionally conveys the impression that funds are scarce or that private management would be more efficient for parks. However, this need not be the case. Adequate budgets can facilitate the hiring of skilled personnel, ensuring that public parks receive the same care and attention as privately managed ones.
A Sensible Alternative
Rather than private entities gaining control over public spaces, why not consider a policy similar to POPS (Privately Owned Public Spaces)? Under this framework, private players can be incentivized to contribute additional public spaces in exchange for certain benefits. This approach would be more sensible, fostering collaboration while keeping public spaces genuinely public.
We want a Greener Mumbai!
We join the collective voice of Mumbai. Together, we can ensure that our public parks remain open, accessible, and cherished by every resident. Let's protect Mumbai's green heritage for ourselves and for future generations.
25 September 2023
Let's preserve our green heritage!
#KeepMumbaiParksPublic #MumbaiForAll #OpenSpacesForAll