Despite inviting non-government organisations (NGOs) and firms to pitch in for improving the condition of green belts in the city, the municipal corporation (MC) is still awaiting response.
The over 50 green belts in the city, one of the most polluted in the country, have been lying in an appalling condition with the MC reeling under staff and funds shortage.
Therefore, MC had rolled out a scheme inviting NGOs or other organisations to voluntary maintain the greenbelts and offered them to erect a board with their name.
However, sources said only a couple of organisations had stepped forward to maintain these green belts, which were essential for a polluted city like Ludhiana.
Heaps of waste can be seen lying in a majority of green belts, including those at old GT Road and Dugri Road, where residents have encroached upon the parks to run their businesses or park vehicles. Besides the electrical fittings in the parks are crying for repair.
“There is a dire need to plant saplings and maintain these green belts, which could give a new look to the city and also help reduce the pollution level. The MC can at least take steps to remove encroachments from these parks,” said Gaganpreet Singh, an advocate.
MC councillor Inder Agarwal said, “No steps are being taken to improve the conditions of green belts. We wanted to raise such issues, but the mayor is not calling the House meeting. We are helpless.”
According to an official of the horticulture wing of MC, they are facing severe staff shortage, but they could not recruit more gardeners unless the MC got an approval from the state government.
Sources in department said they needed three gardeners for maintaining one acre of green belt, while the total area of green belts in the city was around 500 acres. But MC has only around 350 workers, while several posts remain vacant.
When contacted, MC horticulture wing executive engineer Surinder Kumar said, “We had invited organisations for maintenance of green belts and allowed them to display their name at the parks. Few had shown interest but they did not start work. We appeal to city-based organisations to come forward.”