Mumbai: BMC to set up a monitoring committee for gardens

Published: Aug 28, 2019, 20:55 IST | Prajakta Kasale |

All the participants demanded that the entry in the park should be free so the place will remain accessible to all

This picture has been used for representational purposes only
This picture has been used for representational purposes only

To curb the strong opposition from NGOs and citizen on giving public open spaces to private agencies for caretaking, the BMC has decided to set up local monitoring committee comprising corporators, BMC officers and ALM/NGOs. A brainstorming session of suggestions/objections has been taken place in the BMC regarding the open space policy. Five organisations were present for the meeting.

The BMC has an interim open space policy and the civic body has invited suggestions and objections from the citizens ahead of drafting a new policy. The BMC received around 300 mails regarding the policy and a meeting of NGOs took place to get an idea of people's view regarding the maintenance and accessibility of the open spaces. The policy has been a much-debated from the last three years. The civic body had given 217 plots to the private agencies for maintenance over the years under various contracts and even today BMC failed to get back 26 plots. Most of the private agencies are using them for commercial purposes. Though the NGOs- Nagar, CAT, Love your park, Dalbarg, MESM - didn't oppose the caretaker policy but demanded to strictly supervise the work. "We accepted the suggestion and we are thinking to form a local committee who can look after the private agencies work in their ward. The committee will have corporators, BMC officials and members of NGOs and ALMs," said Ashutosh Salil, joint commissioner of BMC. If a garden doesn't get any caretaker then the BMC will take care of it.

There are also some other important suggestions come from the members. All the participants demanded that the entry in the park should be free so the place will remain accessible to all. Even there was unanimous opposition for any construction work in gardens. "The meeting was a brainstorming session and we discussed accessibility, fee, maintenance and timings of the garden," said Nayana Kathpalia, trustee of NGO NAGAR. After the demand, BMC immediately issued a notice to keep gardens open in the afternoon, from 12 pm to 3 pm after taking due precautions. So now the gardens will remain open from 6 am to 10 pm. "We expect people participation. If someone finds that the gardens are not open till 10 pm they should report it to BMC," said Salil.

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