Mumbaikars may soon spend quality time at an ISO-certified garden
In a crowded city like Mumbai, gardens are meant to be green havens, a refuge from the noise and the dirt outside, but with public parks here maintained poorly, few make the effort to visit them. However, in a bid to increase the number of visitors to the parks, the BMC is now working towards setting ISO 9001:2008 standards for quality control in its parks.
A topshot of the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel municipal garden at SVP road, Kandivli (West). The ISO quality standards and yearly audits could ensure that parks such as this one become the green havens they are meant to be. Pic/Nimesh Dave
Already, contractors handling 85 gardens in the western suburbs have been working towards ISO certification for the past three months, which is used the world over to ensure set standards are met in quality management.
How it will work
These gardens are mostly in Borivli, Kandivli and Dahisar. For example, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Udyan and Khajuria Udyan in Kandivali (West) are amongst those that are aiming for ISO standards. These parks will be evaluated on three main criteria - cleanliness, greenery and safety.
Not only will the gardens be revamped and maintained to accord with the required benchmark, there will be regular checks. BMC officials will conduct inspections every three months, while a yearly ISO audit will be conducted by a third party.
“The whole surface in the gardens should be levelled and kept clean. This will definitely help to achieve the best maintenance target. Also there should be a feedback system,” said Dattatray Pai, deputy superintendent of gardens, adding that visitors to the park will also be asked to fill in questionnaires and rate the improvement.
With these moves, the BMC hopes to increase the total number of visitors to its parks by 10 per cent annually. According to Joint municipal commissioner S S Shinde, the idea is already working. “The ISO standards have now reduced the number of complaints about the poor condition of gardens,” he said.
The idea of getting ISO certification was first mooted six months ago by the corporation, after contractors complained about being pulled up and fined for poor garden maintenance. The BMC then suggested that they follow ISO standards to avoid any negligence. The idea appealed to several contractors, who then volunteered to aim for the certification.
Joint municipal commissioner, S S Shinde said, “In the next few months we are planning to include 300 more gardens under ISO standards. There should be uniform standards for operating the gardens; even the watchman should be trained for opening and closing the gardens on time.”