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RWAs green municipal parks despite funds drying up

A Year has passed since the residents welfare association of B3A Block,Janakpuri,adopted five parks,and the difference is there for everybody to see.

A YEAR has passed since the residents welfare association (RWA) of B3A Block,Janakpuri,adopted five parks,and the difference is there for everybody to see.

RWA president S K Chandan points at a green neighbourhood park and says,“This was the dustbin for the area. Today,women from the area gather here in the evenings in the midst of all the greenery.”

This RWA is one of the many that have adopted parks belonging to the MCD,turning them from dumping zones to beautiful public spaces.

Unable to maintain its parks properly,the MCD had come up with a scheme in January last year that allowed RWAs to adopt parks and transform them. The civic body provided them with plants,fertilisers and the funds required to recruit labourers. The scheme has slowly started picking up,and nearly 800 parks have been adopted by RWAs across the Capital.

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Some RWAs have also started introducing individual schemes to expedite beautification of the parks. In a bid to increase the greenery of their four adopted parks,the RWA in Prem Nagar,West Delhi,has started a scheme through which residents of the locality are invited to plant trees on their birthdays and other special occasions.

Showing Newsline around the four parks,the residents of the colony say that ever since the adoption scheme was floated,functions have been banned in parks. “Earlier,the biggest park in the colony would be booked throughout the year. Cars would choke up the colony and the next morning there would be garbage everywhere. They would also ruin the grass and other plants. After the adoption,the MCD has disallowed functions here,and so we are able to develop the park,” says Sanjeev Arora,general secretary of the RWA.

However,the scheme is facing its own set of glitches with some RWAs saying that payments come very late. Others complain that a vast majority of RWAs in the city are not being able to adopt neighbourhood parks as they are registered with the DDA and not the Delhi government.

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Through the scheme,the MCD pays RWAs Rs 6,000 per month for every acre of land adopted. Romela Dhawan,general secretary of the Defence Colony A,C and D Block RWA,said they were last paid in October 2010.

Rajesh Buddhiraja,president of BB Block,a residential complex set up by DDA in Janakpuri,complains that they have 10 parks belonging to the MCD and nearly all of them have dried up as there is no water. They complain that the civic body does not send a regular gardener and repeated requests for water supply have been ignored. “We offered to adopt the parks,but were told that we do not have the right as we are registered under DDA. So,unlike our neighbours,our parks are in a very bad state,” he says.

Hundreds of RWAs face similar problems,Buddhiraja said,adding that the MCD should relax its norms to give everyone a chance.

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Meanwhile,the luckier of the RWAs say they are developing the parks despite getting little help from the MCD. “We go door-to-door to collect money from the parks,” said Chandan.

S S Kandpal,Director of Horticulture,MCD,said 800 of its 15,000 parks have been adopted so far. “The scheme was launched in January last year because recruiting gardeners was a problem. As residents of colonies take a personal interest in managing the greenery around them,we thought this was the right step to take. And now,we are happy with the results,” he added.

First published on: 06-05-2011 at 03:57 IST
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