Even as the civic body is struggling to meet its financial requirements, especially after a cut was imposed in the grant-in-aid due to COVID, Chandigarh Municipal Corporation will be splurging Rs 1.42 crore on purchasing and planting of different kinds of shrubs, decorative plants and ground covers on various V3 roads for greening activities.
Interestingly, the civic body will be purchasing these shrubs and plants which are available free of cost in the forest and even in their own nurseries.
This fund was given by the Chandigarh Pollution Control Department under a national scheme to the civic body.
Chief Conservator Forest Debendra Dalai stated that they had provided funds to the civic body under national clean air programme and greening.
“These funds were given under this campaign but I do not know at all where they are utilising it because they will just give us the utilisation certificate. Regarding the shrubs and plants, they too run their own nurseries. But I don’t know where all they are spending this. So, in that case I won’t be able to tell much,” he said.
Rahul Mahajan, a horticulturist, said that all shrubs specified here like chandni dwarf, hamelia and all others are with the forest department which they are giving for free to the public too.
In the detailed notice inviting tender (DNIT), as many as 52,570 such shrubs have been ordered with each costing Rs 80 and total coming out to be Rs 42.20 lakh.
Other than this, different types of ornamental plants, around 15,700 of them, worth Rs 39.25 lakh, other types of decorative plants. around 15,300 of them, worth Rs 53.50 lakh, ground covers worth Rs 2.50 lakh and other ground covers worth Rs 5.05 lakh have been asked for in the tender.
“These plants could be procured from forest free of cost. Moreover, there is no water source on V3 roads. Watering with tankers is an impossible job,” he said.
Mahajan said that the present greens are getting water only by rainwater. “That is why their is no gap filling survival in last several years,” he said.
The horticulturist mentioned that this money was transferred to control PM 2.5 emission by tyres. “In the first place they have their own nursery too in Sector 29.
Also, they have specified the rate of each shrub as Rs 80. If we go to purchase it in market, it is available for Rs 15 each,” Mahajan added.
Prem Garg, a resident, has written to the MC saying that they can do it even on no-profit-no-loss basis. “A tender for plantation in Chandigarh for Rs 1 crore has been floated. We can provide plants at minimum rates. As an NGO, we would like to do this project on no-profit-no-loss basis. As this money is from CPCC so this money can be properly utilised. We can do this project as a mission on actual cost basis,” he said.
MC Commissioner K K Yadav did not respond to phone calls and text messages.
A senior official of the corporation said that under the programme, they have to obtain a number of such plants and that could be done only by floating tender so that they get the best of plants for V3 roads.
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