March 26, 2021 1:42:54 am
Ahead of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) polls, corporators are rushing to beautify and develop open spaces in the city. The civic body’s garden infrastructure cell has so far received over 160 proposals seeking beautification of gardens in electoral wards of corporators.
BMC data shows that in the last few months, 164 proposals for garden-related works have been received, which are planned to be implemented in the next one year. The highest number of these proposals — 25 — came from K-East (Andheri, Jogeshwari), followed by 20 in M-East (Govandi, Mankhurd), 15 in L ward (Kurla, Sakinaka). There are 227 elected corporators in Mumbai, with Shiv Sena having 97, BJP with 83 and Congress with 29.
As per the data, from 2017 to 2019, development and beautification of 94 gardens have been completed and work on 35 other gardens is ongoing. Officials said due to the Covid pandemic and the lockdown last year, not much work was done on account of labour shortage.
“With the polls coming, most corporators want to show some development work in their electoral wards. They are eyeing either a ground-breaking ceremony for sanctioned work or an inauguration if the work is complete, “said a BMC official.
In such cases, corporators write to the BMC’s Garden Infrastructure Cell (GIC) highlighting the poor conditions of the gardens in their wards and demand urgent implementation of development works. However, officials reveal most of the open spaces are in good condition, but corporators are still pushing for their development.
An official said anonymously, “Many corporators’ proposals involve gardens that were beautified or developed about two-three years ago and are in good condition. But they are insistent on beautifying them. After receiving letters, civic staff visited at some locations and found that most open spaces were in good condition.” Flooded with many letters, civic officials are now filtering these proposals by site visits to check if the garden actually needs beautification.
Some gardens are in areas like Mulund, Govandi and Andheri. There are 1,022 open spaces under the BMC. Last year, civic body had made a provision of Rs 70 crore for the GIC, which has, however, been reduced to Rs 53 crore for 2021-22, officials said. Under the beautification drive, works like construction of jogging and walking tracks, seating areas, installation of gym equipment and horticulture are taken up.
On condition of anonymity, a corporator from the western suburb said, “Due to Covid-19 last year, no development work was taken up. Now we have less than a year, and some work must be completed at least for inauguration purposes. Open spaces are places that are widely used by citizens. Also, if it is small, then beautification or development work will take only about 8-9 months to finish.”
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