City activists have been up in arms, fearing that the government is about to vacate the stay on the controversial policy that allows open spaces to be handed over to private organisations for maintenance. Additional Municipal Commissioner Aseem Gupta assured that the new Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) would be more citizen-friendly and transparent.
Citizens fear that the BMC is vacating the stay on the caretaker policy and have demanded its repeal.
The BMC cannot arbitrarily lift the stay on its own. It will have to reframe the guidelines and propose an alternative. Only after that will it go to the municipal commissioner, the corporation and, finally, the state government.
The chief minister has asked the BMC to frame a new policy on open spaces. How will it be different from the old one?
We plan to make it more citizen-friendly and transparent. Citizens will be consulted at every step of the process of handing over a plot for maintenance. We plan to make it easier for citizens to participate, including the right of refusal.
How will you ensure that the policy is more citizen-centric?
We will encourage citizens' groups to bid for the maintenance of grounds in their neighbourhoods. They could even collaborate with private firms for this. We also plan to introduce competitiveness in the process so that there are several bidders vying for each plot.