MCD pays residents for upkeep
A decade ago, most parks in south Delhi's Lajpat Nagar were just barren pieces of land where weddings and functions were held. At other times, stray cattle grazed on the patches of dry grass.delhi Updated: Jan 06, 2010 22:52 IST
A decade ago, most parks in south Delhi's Lajpat Nagar were just barren pieces of land where weddings and functions were held. At other times, stray cattle grazed on the patches of dry grass.
“We have come a long way from those parks to well-kept ornamental parks,” said Pawan Arora of Lajpat Nagar United Forum. “There were weddings and functions here regularly, which ruined the parks.”
Things changed for the better ten years ago.
“Some residents got together to beautify the parks. We started a drive 10 years ago and persuaded all block residents’ welfare associations to beautify parks,” he said.
“Funds were collected from residents and development of the parks started. We didn’t receive any help or funding from the MCD,” he said.
Once the barren parks became beautiful, the residents took up the issue of functions at the parks with the MCD.
“More and more block welfare associations joined in and started sending out applications to the MCD,” he said.
Lajpat Nagar has a community hall for functions.
The trouble was that in many cases, those booking the parks for functions were outsiders.
“If local residents are using the park, then no one really minds because half the residents are invitees anyways,” he said. “But many bookings were from outside our area. Guests coming to these functions drank and created nuisance and also teased women.”
This is when the residents’ associations decided to turn these parks into ornamental parks.
The going wasn’t very easy though.
“The MCD took a long time to respond to our requests,” said the resident from Lajpat Nagar Part III. “Even after functions were banned at some parks, people used them illegally.”
“We have signed public-private partnership agreements with the MCD under which the residents maintain the park and the MCD gives us money for upkeep,” said a resident of Lajpat Nagar III who did not wish to named.
The MCD pays Rs. 60,000 per acre per year for the upkeep, he said.