More than two years after the BMC first introduced the ISO 9001 certification plan for civic gardens, the plan still appears to be in limbo.

Back in 2015, in order to boost the number of visitors to its parks and gardens, the BMC had decided to set-up quality control in its parks. However, a report of the Observer Research Foundation (ORF) has stated that the BMC has been unable to implement and maintain the desired benchmark through its hired contractors.

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and Khajuria gardens in Kandivli, are among the few green spaces that have met the ISO 9001 standards. Pic/ Satej Shinde

mid-day had reported earlier how contractors handling 85 gardens in the western suburbs were working towards ISO 9001 certification by following 2008 standards for quality control in parks. There were plans to start it for 200-odd gardens. But, according to the ORF report, barely three to four gardens like Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Udyan and Khajuria Udyan in Kandivli (West), among others, have met the ISO standards.

The contractors had to adhere to quality management system, which included providing facilities such as human resources upgradation and training, maintaining the quality of services provided and equipment. Apart from being revamped, the gardens were to be maintained regularly to meet the required benchmark. BMC officials were to conduct inspections every three months, while a yearly ISO audit was to be conducted by a third party. The gardens and parks were to be evaluated on three main criteria -- cleanliness, greenery and safety.

The idea of getting ISO certification was first mooted in 2014 by the civic body, after contractors were criticised for poor maintenance of gardens. The BMC then suggested that they follow ISO standards to avoid any negligence.

Sayli Udas-Mankikar, senior fellow, ORF, said, "In 2015, the garden department had made it compulsory for contractors of gardens to get the ISO 9001 certification. This was a positive step towards ensuring that the gardens and parks meet a certain quality. But, until last year, the BMC was unable to implement and maintain the desired benchmark and standards through its hired contractors across 200 parks."

Jitendra Pardeshi, superintendent of gardens, was unavailable for comment.