Do these benches really spoil the beauty of the Worli sea face promenade?

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Recently the BMC asked the Worli Walkers Association to remove 40 odd benches, which they had put along the promenade. The residents had used their own money to install these benches. 

The reason that was given by the BMC to remove the benches was that they were spoiling the beauty of the Worli seaface promenade. The civic body had spent around 4 crore to beautify the promenade previously.

The residents had claimed that they had the necessary permission to put up the benches, after the previous ones were damaged because of the beautification of the promenade. The residents then later pooled in money to get new benches made of concrete. The residents had spent around Rs1 lakh of their own money to put the benches up and when the order came to remove them they were very furious.

One of the members of the resident’s association said that Rs3,000 was spent to put up each bench. The residents were puzzled when the civic authority wanted to use costlier metal benches, instead of the concrete ones. The residents claimed that the donations for the benches were made in the memory of their loved ones and that they will counter every move made by the civic body to remove the benches.

However, one of the residents, Amarpal Singh Baweja informed dna that the situation is otherwise. He said, “The association was not given any permission to install the benches at the Worli seaface. When I asked them to show me the permission they simply refused to do so. It has been more than two months now since I had asked for the document.”

He also said that instead of giving permission to the association, the civic body had asked them to demolish the benches. The resident also alleged that the association along with the Rotary Club were putting up more benches. He also informed that the reason why the civic body wants to demolish the benches is because they have been put in a haphazard manner, so the civic body had every right to remove the benches from the promenade.

We would want regular users of the promenade to share their views with us. Should the emphasis be on utility, emotions, aesthetics and/or permissons? Who should have the final call?

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