Mayor promises to double park grant; ball in RWAs' court
To tackle the constant complaints of Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) over maintenance of parks in just Rs 1.5 per square metre, the Chandigarh municipal corporation may soon hike it to Rs 3. City mayor Subhash Chawla told HT on Sunday that he would put up the agenda in the House meeting next month.chandigarh Updated: Aug 19, 2013 19:13 IST
To tackle the constant complaints of Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) over maintenance of parks in just Rs 1.5 per square metre, the Chandigarh municipal corporation may soon hike it to Rs 3. City mayor Subhash Chawla told HT on Sunday that he would put up the agenda in the House meeting next month.
"The RWAs feel the amount should be increased, so I'd propose to double it. We hope more RWAs will come forward now to take up parks' maintenance," Chawla said. At present, of the 1,700 parks only 400 are maintained by RWAs, and these too are mostly in bad shape.
Last year in August, the MC authorities had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with representatives of RWAs on the lines of Panchkula and SAS Nagar, but the 'low' maintenance payment kept many away. A similar hike proposal was made in the last meeting of the MC in Panckula, and the final decision is pending with the district administration.
Chawla admitted, "The move to hike the payment has been initiated after we received a lot of complaints regarding the deteriorated condition of parks, especially in the southern sectors."
Dr OP Verma, president of the Sector-20 RWA, said, "This was a long-pending demand, and now more RWAs will come forward and accountability fixed. Obviously, the parks will be maintained better."
Though the MC has, in most of the parks, provided railing, swings and trees, it's the maintenance that has become a big concern.
Major DS Sandhu (retd), a nominated councillor who raised the issue of deteriorated condition of parks in the Chandigarh House several times, opined, "Increase in the amount is welcome move, but the civic body should give the responsibility of parks only to registered associations of the area concerned."
What about neighbours
Panchkula: Of the 170 parks, 153 are maintained by RWAs at a rate of Rs 1.5 per square metre. OP Sihag, executive officer of the MC, said, "We have decided to revise the amount to Rs 3 per square metre." The associations are happy. Subhash Papneja, general secretary of RWA, Sector 16, Panchkula, said, "The parks are not maintained properly in Rs 1.5 per square metre, and we are hoping that from next month the amount is increased."
SAS Nagar: Of 535 parks, only 131 parks are maintained by RWAs at rate of Rs 1.69 per square metre. The parks are in bad shape and authorities have not mooted any proposal to increase the amount. KL Sharma, president, RWA, Phase 3A, said, "It was difficult for us to maintain the park at rate of Rs 1.69, so we gave up. Now, GMADA is maintaining it. Most parks are in bad shape."