Matunga residents upset with caged Hooper garden

The Hooper Garden in Matunga is a decades-old space, near the Five Gardens heritage precinct. The ground boasts of basketball and volleyball courts.

But it looks like it has been converted into a cage after the BMC enclosed its basketball and volleyball courts with iron bars, marring the aesthetics of the area.

The local corporator, Nayana Seth had demanded to further develop  the garden , to incorporate more facilities. Following this, the garden cell of the BMC envisaged enclosing the basketball and volleyball grounds, to create a viewing area between the two courts, a walkway and a rock garden nearby.

However, residents and activists are unhappy with the project. “They have turned this garden into a jail. Putting up nets around courts is fine because the ball could hurt others, but why did they put up the iron bars? It has ruined the beauty of the ground,” said local activist Nikhil Desai. He has demanded that the playground be converted into an open space again.

Seth, the local congress corporator said, “I am neither a civic official nor an engineer. I only point out what needs to be developed in my area. It is the BMC, which designs and executes the proposal.”