Following complaints of damage to a park in east Delhi’s Geeta Colony, East Delhi Municipal Commissioner Mohanjeet Singh Friday directed that the cost of redevelopment be recovered from the officials in charge of its horticulture department. Singh said they had allowed commercial use of the park, which led to its damage.
Acting on a complaint, the commissioner asked for an inspection of the Viswakarma Park in Geeta Colony. “Upon inspection by director, horticulture, on June 26, the park was found severely damaged, with ditches as deep as five-feet in the lawns,” a senior civic official said.
Citing “negligence in duty and lack of supervision”, Singh ordered deduction in salaries of the dealing assistant, assistant director and deputy director of horticulture, EDMC. The corporation added that it is investigating the role of other senior officials, as well as lack of supervision by zonal officials. Immediate repair and recovery of the park has also been ordered.
According to the order, “the park was booked, flouting the laid down municipal norms”, causing illegal financial gain to the allottee.
The park was booked for an ‘Eid milan’ for a short period of four to five days. However, it was reportedly used to hold a fair for a duration longer than the initial allotment. “On inspection, it was observed that commercial activities were being conducted in the park with large swings and stalls being installed,” officials said.
Additional commissioner (finance) Brajesh Singh told The Indian Express that under the DMC Act, parks are “only to
be given out for religious functions such as Ramleelas or Eid milans, and no commercial use is allowed”.
Stating that it is one of the most densely populated areas in the country, with approximately 38,000 people per sq km, Singh said, “East Delhi is land starved and it is essential to preserve whatever land is available to us.”