Hawkers, residents to spruce up park
Hawkers, residents to spruce up park Malabar Hill's Kamala Nehru
Park plan includes waiting lounge at bus-stop, tourist information
kiosks SMITA NAIR Since 2002, there's been a long, hardbound register
at the entrance of
Kamala Nehru Park, the green patch perched stop Malabar Hill.
And that was just the beginning of a rather unlikely alliance-between
the 30-odd hawkers that operate outside the garden and the Malabar
Hill Residents' Association.
Now, starting July, the Alliance is planning to 'bring the pride
back to Malabar Hill' with a beautification project that will start
with Kamala Nehru Park.
''This exercise will put the onus of maintaining the area on the
people who use it,'' says Indrani Malkani, secretary of the residents'
association, adding that it was the hawkers' brainchild to maintain
a suggestion book.
To start with, the terraced garden will get a makeover, with a little
help from the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST)
undertaking and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation.
Following a plan first mooted by the Malabar Hill Residents' Association
last September, the outside will first be beautified and the BEST
depot next door upgraded-this includes a dining room and restroom
for drivers and conductors and a 'waiting lounge' for passengers.
The licenced vendors in the vicinity will also be relocated nearby,
in a sort of outdoor food court.
Next, an information kiosk will be set up near the gate, to help
tourists and offer information on the history of the garden. A police
beat chowkie will also be set up nearby.
The entire exercise is expected to cost about Rs 20 lakh-the residents'
associ ation is still working out sponsorship details.
Meanwhile, Ravi Hariyan (28), one of the hawkers, is really excited
about the plan.
''We are treated with respect by the local residents, which in turn
pushes us to ensure that we help them keep the premises clean,''
he says. ''In fact, I myself have spent many evenings teaching tourists
not to litter.''
Publication: IE; Section Mumbai News line; Pg: Front ; Date: 22/6/06.