BMC to rent out gardens for photoshoots
The facility will initially be available in 25-30 big gardens under the BMC. It will be extended to gardens in every ward based on demand
Mumbai: If all goes well, Mumbaikars will be able to use gardens run by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for professional pre-wedding and birthday photoshoots in exchange for a nominal fee. Civic officials said efforts are underway to rent out gardens between 1pm and 3pm on weekdays, when they are closed to the public, and the facility would be available within the next two months.
“Since our gardens are shut the afternoon, we plan to rent them out to people for photoshoots at a nominal fee of ₹500 or ₹1000, depending on the number of the people, cameras, etc. This will not only help generate revenue but also provide publicity for our gardens,” said deputy municipal commissioner (gardens) Kishor Gandhi.
The facility will initially be available in 25-30 big gardens under the BMC. It will be extended to gardens in every ward based on demand. “We will have an online portal to book slots, similar to booking memberships for BMC-run swimming pools, which has been a great success,” said Gandhi. He mentioned that assistant superintendent of gardens in every ward would decide on how many gardens could be given out for photoshoots.
In March, the BMC had announced that all open public spaces like parks, grounds and recreational grounds would remain open from 5am to 1pm and 3pm to 10pm on weekdays, and from 5am to 10pm on weekends. Currently there are 255 parks, 432 recreation grounds and 318 playgrounds in Mumbai.
Nayana Kathpalia, trustee, NAGAR, an NGO that works for saving open public spaces and resolving civic issues, said renting out gardens was a bad idea.
“First of all, Mumbai gardens and parks should not be shut at all and kept open from 6am to 8pm. Mumbai has a floating population and people live in small spaces. They need parks and gardens to sit and relax. In the afternoons, students and labourers relax in the park, whereas in mornings, there are people who exercise,” said Kathpalia.
She criticised the commercialisation of parks and gardens, saying, “The gardens will be shut to the public but available for photoshoots! We do not agree with this.”