Crores for garden upkeep go ‘waste’ as BMC fails to use funds
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While the city fights for open spaces, an amount to the tune of Rs 85 crore meant to develop and maintain gardens and parks, has lapsed over the past three years because BMC has not been able to utilise these funds.
Standing commitee chairperson Rahul Shewale said BMC will soon float tenders for maintenance of civic gardens and parks. "For the past three years, funds meant for garden maintenance have been lapsing. We are soon going to call for tenders for maintenance of the existing gardens. An additional clause will be made for gardens that will come up, wherein contractors will also be responsible for maintaning them," Shewale said.
In April 2012, the civic body had announced that it would develop parks and gardens in 13 wards. This was one of the top goals for the fiscal year 2012-13. Come April 2013, and of the Rs 43 crore earmarked for the project, close to Rs 28 crore will lapse.
"This shows the lack of intent on the part of BMC. Even though work has begun in bits and pieces, there is no way it will be completed this financial year. It takes eight months to develop a garden. Keeping this in mind, BMC should have started work in advance to avoid lapse of funds," said Amit Satam, BJP corporator and member of the civic markets and gardens committee.
Officials said a large chunk of the maintenance work in gardens has been held up due to a 2011 court order that restrained BMC from giving out fresh tenders for the purpose.
"A group of contractors had filed the case against BMC saying that the contracts were already given to them and that BMC could not issue fresh tenders. The matter is pending in court and a lot of work has been held up," said Shiv Sena corporator and group leader Yashodhar Phanse.