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Tuesday, Nov 12, 2019

Mohali MC plans 50 astroturf gyms in parks, RWAs term it waste exercise

cities Updated: Oct 17, 2019 01:04 IST

The municipal corporation (MC) of Mohali plans to set up astroturf-based open-air gymnasiums in all 50 wards of Mohali at the cost of ₹3.5 crore. However, members of residents welfare associations (RWA) and some councillors are not pleased with the move as they think it is nothing but wastage of public money. The open-air gyms will cost the exchequer ₹7 lakh each.

These open-air gyms will be in addition to the civic body has already installed in all 50 wards.

The MC approved the proposal in the recent finance and contract committee (F&CC) meeting headed by mayor Kulwant Singh. The astroturf-based open-air gyms are to come up in neighbourhood parks in each ward and in 10 main parks of the city.

Deputy mayor of the civic body Manjit Singh Sethi, who is also a member of the panel, said, “We approved the gyms on public demand. In my ward, the open gym is overcrowded. The new gyms will have Astroturf so that people can use it immediately after rains,” he said.

On the other hand, CL Garg, president of the Confederation of Greater Mohali Residents’ Welfare Associations, the apex body of 65 RWAs, said, “It is wastage of money and a gimmick before the election which is scheduled in coming February.” There was no need of additional gyms as people do not even use the existing ones, he said. The money, he said, could have been used for maintenance of parks, re-carpeting of roads or other basic amenities.

Critical of the move, Congress councillor Hardeep Singh Sarao said additional gyms are sheer wastage of money. “They should have installed CCTV cameras instead. In my ward, very few people use the open air gyms. I am totally against it,” he said.

MS Aujla, patron of the confederation and former director town planning, local government Punjab said the existing gyms are already defunct due to lack of maintenance. “Even the new gyms will be sheer wastage of money unless they are properly maintained,” he added.

In the past one year, Mohali MC has already installed gyms in all 50 wards. Besides these, they have set up gyms in Kargil Park Sector 71, Neighbourhood Park in Phase 6, Industrial Area Phase 6 Green Belt, Special Park in Sector 70, Leisure Valley in Phase 9 and Neighbourhood Park in Phase 11, at a cost of ₹25 lakh.