PMC garden dept claims loss of ₹11 cr since lockdown
The Pune municipal corporation’s garden department is claiming to have sustained losses to the tune of ₹11 crore, ever since lockdown was first announced in 2020.
Pune has 200 public gardens. The public gardens opened this year and entry fees are the only source of revenue currently.
Ashok Ghorpade, the superintendent of gardens, said, “The garden department used to conduct exhibitions of flowers, fruits and vegetables and sell plant saplings which used to bring in revenue. Between 30,000 and 45,000 saplings a year were sold at reasonable rates to citizens, but this had to be shut down due to Covid-19. We used to organise fort festivals and environment- related events which fetched us revenue. We hardly earned around ₹1 crore during the past 11 months.”
“We have lost ₹11 crore since the first lockdown last year,” Ghorpade added.
Citizen activist Ramesh Patankar said, “The garden department deserves more funding than any other department of the PMC. The PMC is earning crores of rupees in the name of development charges.The mandate of the garden department must be enhanced and a large number of new gardens must be created to balance the environment which is threatened by real estate developers.”