In a surprising revelation, the civic body may have been paying extra for the maintenance of two gardens in the recently beautified Five Gardens, Matunga.
The civic body has been paying for maintaining 7,070 sqm of gardens A and B, when the area possibly measures to only 5,500 square metres.
The plan approved by the heritage panel shows that gardens A and B, which are part of the Five Garden precinct beautified at the cost of Rs 5 crore last year, are spread over 5,500 square metres.
The three-year maintenance contract given for the two gardens comes at the cost of Rs 90,000 a month, calculated on the basis of the allegedly inflated area, shown to be 7,070 square metres.
“According to our records, both the gardens are spread over 7,070 square meters and the maintenance contract is right,” said Vijay Hire, superintendent of gardens, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
Since the gardens fall under the heritage precinct, the BMC had sought the heritage panel’s approval for their beautification. The beatification plan was prepared by the garden cell of the civic body.
The approved plan clearly shows that garden A and B measure up to 5,500 square meters.
After beautification, the gardens were handed over to garden department, which in turn awarded the maintenance contract to a private contractor for three years.
Ward details accessed by Nikhil Desai, local activist and coordinator of AGNI, F-North ward, have revealed the difference in area.
“The BMC is paying for about 1,500 square meters extra, but the quality of maintenance is still poor” he alleged.
“If we are spending around Rs.90,000 a month on maintenance, the entire area should be covered with lush grass. There are, however, several patches in the gardens where the grass is totally worn,” he said.