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Dual policy resulting in misuse of public places

THE STATE Government has adopted a dual policy as regards the utilisation of public places such as gardens, parks, sports grounds and others.

india Updated: Jan 04, 2006 15:00 IST

THE STATE Government has adopted a dual policy as regards the utilisation of public places such as gardens, parks, sports grounds and others. While a State Government order – quoting the Municipal Corporation Act – bars the Bhopal Municipal Corporation from either using or giving permission to any one else for use of these public places, there is no such preventive clause applicable on the Capital Project Administration (CPA), which also has possession of many such places.

The objective to bar the BMC has been to protect such public places and open spaces of the City from nuisance. But the authorities have failed to achieve the objective due to non-existence of uniform norms in this regard.

While the BMC follows these norms, the CPA provides its parks for the marriages and other functions. The CPA rents out its parks, including Priyadarshini Park and Swaraj Park at Polytechnic Square, for other purposes. Besides, the CPA provided Mayur Park for such functions on a couple of occasions. About a year back, CPA’s Rishabhdev Park, was forcibly used for a marriage ceremony.

A notification issued in year 2003 amended in the Municipal Corporation Act the rules regarding the use of such public spaces. According to sub-section 2 of section 2 of the Act, the properties like water tanks, sports grounds, gardens and other public places would not be used for other purposes.

The Municipal Corporation Act applies only on the functioning of the municipal body. However, some officials believe that the BMC could prevent other agencies within its limits from doing so, if these norms were implemented. But the CPA is also an agency working under the direct control of the State Government.

Some BMC officials also believe that the State Government should also told the CPA to implement the same rules to avoid nuisance at such public places. Before these amendments and subsequent State Government directives, the BMC administration provided at least three parks for marriages and other functions.

These parks fetched about Rs 5 lakh per year to the BMC’s kitty. These included Pari Park, Yatayat Park and Yadgar-e-Shahjahani Park.

When asked, Principal Secretary, Urban Administration Department, Satya Prakash said that the BMC might ask for the government directives in this regard. He also pointed out that such rules were necessary because there is poor maintenance of BMC’s parks.

First Published: Jan 04, 2006 15:00 IST