Mumbai: MLA Urges BMC To Take Back Private Control Of Recreation Grounds & Playgrounds

Mumbai: MLA Urges BMC To Take Back Private Control Of Recreation Grounds & Playgrounds

The BMC recently came out with the draft open space policy in which it stated that while gardens will be maintained by BMC, RG and PG will be available for option based on certain criteria.

FPJ News ServiceUpdated: Sunday, September 17, 2023, 10:32 PM IST
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BMC | File

Ameet Satam, MLA from Andheri West has written to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) asking that all the recreation grounds (RG) and playgrounds (PG) be maintained only by the BMC and local ALMs. It further asks that all the plots in possession of individuals and institutions given on an adoption or caretaker basis be taken back from them.

The letter dated September 17 is marked to the deputy municipal commissioner (garden) and superintendent of gardens. The BMC recently came out with the draft open space policy in which it stated that while gardens will be maintained by BMC, RG and PG will be available for option based on certain criteria. The move was criticised by civic activists as they said that the BMC was unable to take the land back and they were being misused or more often used as private fiefdoms of those looking after it.

"Policy doesn't make sense"

Satam's letter states that the BMC's draft policy did not make sense when it left out gardens. The letter states that it should have kept out the RG and PG too. It goes on to state that there is no need to appoint a third party for maintenance and caretaking and that RG, PG and gardens should be looked after by the BMC.

It says that BMC can consider allowing the booking of tracks and fields in the same way as that of swimming pools, which will lead to a fair and transparent booking process.

"I think it is a very good sign that an MLA is willing to come out openly and support people's stand publicly. I think we should really appreciate it," Shailesh Gandhi, former central information commission. 

Political gimmick?

When asked if it was a political gimmick before elections, Gandhi said, "People, including politicians, follow their own objective. But in this process, if they openly take a pro-public stand or do something that citizens want, it should be applauded. I suspect this is also because of media attention. Tomorrow if citizens and media make more noise, I hope other MLAs also join in. This is democratic functioning as it should be," added Gandhi. Satam did not answer calls, and BMC officials could not be reached for a comment.

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