BMC move against pets in gardens irks citizens
Dipti Singh | The Indian Express | Tuesday, Feb 06, 2018
Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation move against pets in gardens irks citizens
Many parks are now also banning photography inside their premises. A garden in Malad west and Bhakti Park Garden in Wadala are some of the parks which has put up posters and boards at the entrance banning photography.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) move, prohibiting photography and pets in gardens run by the civic body, has irked many residents, pet owners and animal rights activists. Activists claim there aren’t enough open spaces for pets in the city. Mumbai presently has a handful of parks dedicated to pets. There is one at Five Gardens, Matunga, another on Carter Road in Bandra, as well as Priyadarshini Park on Malabar Hill. However, access is restricted to weekends.
A local park along Andheri’s Yari Road and a garden in Powai’s Hiranandani Complex also turn into pet friendly zones on weekends. However, many BMC-run gardens have put up posters, notices and banners outside their entrances warning citizens not to bring pets inside the park/garden. “It’s unfair that pets are not allowed inside BMC gardens. If humans need fresh air, so do animals. The BMC can make arrangements, like dustbins for disposing pet feces. Pet owners can take care of the rest,” said Vaishali Sawant, a dog lover and resident of Chembur.
“Pet owners are tax payers too, they know that they should not take their pets for a walk where there is a crowd. Pets are mostly taken for a walk by people who can handle them. It is unfair to ban pets inside public gardens,” said Sunish Subramanium of animal welfare NGO Plants and Animals Welfare Society (PAWS). Stressing that pets deserve some open space, the BJP had moved a proposal in July last year at the BMC standing committee, demanding that every public park and garden in the city must have some dedicated area for domestic animals.
The BJP’s Colaba corporator, Makarand Narvekar, said citizens find it difficult to take their pets to public places. However, the proposal is still pending. “In a space-starved city like Mumbai, the civic body can easily keep a small space aside for pets in all its large parks,” Narvekar argued. Former Congress corporator Parminder Bhamra, had proposed the idea of having one park exclusively for pets in every ward in 2015. However, after being turned down by the civic body, he suggested that the city could at least reserve some space in its existing gardens for pets.
Many parks are now also banning photography inside their premises. A garden in Malad west and Bhakti Park Garden in Wadala are some of the parks which has put up posters and boards at the entrance banning photography. “The open spaces developed by the BMC are for the public, we cannot allow any kind of nuisance in there which will inconvenience people. Pets can create inconvenience for people visiting the park/garden. Besides we have banned cameras inside the garden during public visiting hours, as that also can inconvenience public,” a senior BMC official said.
The official also said it was not possible for the civic body to come up with a garden/park exclusively for pets in all wards.
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