Following complaints of neglect and encroachments at Khau Galli outside Saras Baug, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has decided to develop a food court and walking plaza at the spot.
A favourite haunt of tourists and residents of all ages, Saras Baug is among the oldest gardens in the heart of Pune city, with a Ganesh temple in the centre and a lake surrounding it. The northern side of the garden houses around 50 food stalls that are well-known eatery spots in the city but the area is mismanaged and marred with encroachments, leading to traffic chaos.
“The PMC has decided to redevelop the area to manage it properly while attracting more tourists to the place which is adjoining Saras Baug and Peshwe Energy Park, which also has an adventure sports facility for children…it will be converted into a food court and walking plaza,” Municipal Commissioner Vikram Kumar said.
The planning for the project has been completed and the work will begin soon, Kumar said, adding that the place will provide a proper place for licensed food stall owners to carry out their business while ensuring better facilities for visitors.
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Currently, the food stalls are alongside the Saras Baug wall, facing the road that connects Bajirao Road to Thorle Madhavrao Peshwe Road. On the other side of the road is the compound wall of Baburao Sanas Sports Ground. “As per the new plan, the shops will be shifted towards the Sanas ground compound wall and will face Saras Baug,” Deputy Municipal Commissioner Madhav Jagtap, in-charge of the civic anti-encroachment department, said.
The food court has been designed in a way that it will accommodate all 52 licensed food stall units, officials said. These have been divided into 13 groups, with four in each group. There will be a service area behind each unit or stall of 2.5 m x 3.2 m, a seating area of 9.9 m x 7 m for 32 people in front of the four stalls, a standing counter and a tree plantation pit at the centre of the seating area.
There will be a 6.6 m-wide road in front of the food court for vehicular traffic heading towards a parking bay with a capacity to park 500 vehicles. The opposite side of the road will have a seating area and a children’s play area where citizens can spend quality time with family and friends, officials said.