Mumbai: Rs 5 cr gymkhana rots, as BMC looks the other way
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) may have grand plans for the benefit of people, but if they are not implemented properly, it simply ends up wasting public money.
The gymkhana’s windows are broken, toilets are in filthy condition
The Matoshree Krida Sankul (sports complex) at Yari Road in Andheri (West), is an example of this. Since its construction in 2012, at R5 crore, it remains unused as the BMC did not maintain it or hand it over to a private agency for its upkeep and as a result, the gym is in bad condition.
Electrical wires meant for tube lights and fans have been stolen by drug addicts
The building’s windows are broken, toilets are in filthy condition, the tiles have been removed and electrical wires meant for tube lights and fans have been stolen by drug addicts who shelter there.
The BMC’s policy on recreation grounds (RG) and playgrounds (PG) was stayed in 2007. This is one of the reasons that the gymkhana was not handed over to an agency for maintenance.
This policy allowed the handing over of such properties for maintenance to private parties, but then was stayed on the grounds that these properties were being usurped by them.
The implication of the stay is that the BMC hasn’t maintained the ground-plus-one gymkhana. As per the policy, large plots were given under a caretaker clause for a minimum 33-year lease.
25 per cent construction was allowed on plots measuring 5,000-15000 sq ft, and 33 per cent on larger plots. The caretaker was expected to maintain the remaining portion for public use, and charge a nominal amount as entry fee.
The new policy being formulated, will amend the caretaker clause, and provide an option for adoption on a five-year lease. An open space can be given to a citizens’ group or an NGO, and this applies to public parks, grounds, gymkhanas, swimming pools, sports clubs and gardens.
Shiv Sena corporator from Andheri (W), Raju Pednekar said, “I had requested the BMC to construct this gymkhana for people. But they did not give it for maintenance to anyone and its condition has deteriorated.
I have sent several letters asking them to maintain it, but the administration claims that as there is a stay on the policy, nothing much can be done”. He claims that earlier this month he spent his own money on employing private security guards at the gymkhana and also cleaned it. The guards are presently at the gymkhana.
Devendra Amberkar, opposition leader said, “It was wrong on the BMC’s part that they didn’t maintain this gymkhana”. When asked why the BMC themselves did not maintain the gymkhana, Parag Masurkar, Ward Officer, K West said, “I am new here. It should have been maintained, but I don’t know why the BMC did not maintain the gymkhana.”