Even as the civic improvements committee has proposed to reduce the minimum bidding price under the caretaker scheme of the open spaces policy, citizens' groups that are maintaining open spaces in the city feel it is the adoption scheme that needs to be strengthened.
Arup Sarbadhikary, founder trustee of Bandra Bandstand Residents' Trust that has fought to maintain the Bandstand sea front and the Bandra fort garden said: "The civic body allotted the 10,000 sqm fort garden to us for development and maintenance 10 years ago. But there has been no help from them. We took care of the daily upkeep of the garden by installing water pumps and even took care of security with the help of corporate sponsorships and funds from some members of parliament."
Activists say the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) should release funds to encourage citizens' groups.
"From the budgetary provisions for open spaces, the civic body must allot funds for the preservation of open spaces in the city and allow citizen groups to monitor the expenses and take care of the maintenance," said Rajkumar Sharma, coordinator, Action for good Governance and Networking in India (AGNI).
According to activists, the adoption scheme has failed as residents have not been able to get the permissions from the civic body for maintenance.
For instance, Hillside Residents' Welfare Association (HIRWA) in Mulund has been fighting hard to preserve a 4,000 sqm open ground reserved as a garden near Yogi hills.
"The BMC has been delaying giving us permissions for a year. The ground is in an extremely bad shape. Neither is the BMC taking up its maintenance, nor is it letting us. We have approached the officials with a detailed plan for developing the garden, but there has been no response so far," said Prakash Padikkal, president, HIRWA.