Corporators stuck on names, spike green plan

The PMC's plan to increase green cover in the city by developing gardens on open plots of the irrigation department has hit a roadblock. One of the reasons cited for the irrigation department denying permission to develop gardens on its land is corporators demanding that these gardens be named after their family members.

PMC's development plan shows a green cover on vacant plots belonging to the irrigation department in the city. One of the areas between two parallel canals cutting across the city has a lot of vacant land. The canal starts from Khadakwasla dam and passes through the city.

"PMC has been urging the irrigation department to allow it to develop gardens in the area and increase green cover," said Sunil Kesari, garden superintendent of PMC. "The irrigation department has been allowing plantation in the area but has responded in the negative to the idea of developing gardens in the area," he said.

The department has cited past experiences in facing problems with elected representatives insisting on naming gardens developed on the land of irrigation department in the name of their relatives, Kesari said.

Irrigation officials said they had no problem in the past in allowing the PMC to plant trees on vacant plots. "We allowed them to plant trees in the area as it was a good cause. However, their demand increased later with corporators requesting the development of a jogging track, benches and sports equipment for children at the place," he said. They further proposed to name the area in the name of relatives, which was unacceptable, the officer said adding, besides, "those who allowed the plantation are facing an inquiry. Therefore, there is no way the irrigation department will grant permission to develop gardens on the vacant plots".

NCP corporator Vikas Dangat has been urging the civic administration to take up the plantation drive and develop a garden on land between the two canals that pass through his electoral area.

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