Can all city flyovers by like this?

kIngs Circle Mumbai Flyover

: Look under almost any city flyover in Punjab or rest of the country, you will see the filth, encroachment, stray cows and haphazard parking. This happens despite the fact most cities are woefully short of civic space.

So Mumbai citizens got together to create a ‘walker’s paradise’ under a flyover at King’s Circle. Inaugurated in June, the Nanalal D Mehta Garden under the Tulpule flyover was built by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) at a cost of Rs 5 crore. It includes a jogging track and several ornamental plants.

This was a unique concept driven by the initiative of the locals, who got BMC to design this 700-metre green space. This was at a time when most spaces under flyovers were either encroached upon by vagrants or used to park vehicles.

King’s Circle resident Nikhil Desai said, “Around four years ago, when the flyovers were opened to the public, we saw that below each of the three flyovers there was either unauthorised parking, illegal shops operating or vagrants using the patch. We all were against it.”

kIngs Circle Mumbai Flyover

He added, “Soon, we approached the then municipal commissioner, Sitaram Kunte. After studying our request, he asked the garden department if a garden there was possible. Tenders were floated, and today it’s purely a walker’s paradise with numerous people with their children coming here every evening.”

Deputy municipal commissioner S S Shinde, who is in charge of gardens in Mumbai, said the feedback from the local residents has been very good.