For Delhi’s civic bodies, the grass really is greener on the other side. In plush south Delhi, parks maintained by resident welfare associations (RWAs) are in a much better condition than those being looked after by the municipal corporation.
Experts say liberal spending by RWAs is behind the stark contrast. While some RWAs pump in as much as R50,000 per month, cash-strapped civic bodies have a hard time hiring gardeners or purchasing equipment.
Take, for example, a park near Kailash Colony Metro station. Owing to neglect by the South Delhi Municipal Corporation, the park is littered with garbage, dilapidated benches and only a few streetlights.
Barely 10 minutes away is a park in GK-1, E block, with neatly-trimmed grass, CCTV cameras, security personnel, rainwater harvesting equipment and separate areas for children and the elderly. This one is looked after by the local RWA.
However, SDMC standing committee chairman Rajesh Gehlot maintains the 6,400 parks under his jurisdiction should be left in the hands of the civic body.