At least 70 rickety parks would soon sport a healthy look. A special dedicated cell would monitor their upkeep.
The urban development and housing department would temporarily hand over the 70 and odd selected parks to Bihar Urban Infrastructure Development Corporation and Bihar State Housing Board for maintenance. Once constituted, Patna Park Development Society would be their permanent caretaker. The estimated monthly expenses on the maintenance of each park would be around Rs 25,000.
The Telegraph highlighted the pathetic condition of the city parks over the past week. While some green patches have turned into criminals’ dens, cows graze on a few. A handful of them have remained under lock and key because nobody came forward to maintain them. In the absence of proper maintenance, wild vegetation has sprung up in some parks; swings have corroded in a few.
Within a week of The Telegraph starting its “Green Piece” campaign, the urban development and housing department decided to take a slew of measures for the upkeep of the parks.
Urban development and housing secretary S. Siddharth said: “We want to develop a proper mechanism for the upkeep of the parks in the city. First, we shall hand over 70 parks to Bihar Urban Infrastructure Development Corporation and Bihar State Housing Board for maintenance. A proposal for the formation of Patna Park Development Society has also been submitted to the state government. While Bihar Urban Infrastructure Development Corporation and Bihar State Housing Board would take care of the parks on a temporary basis, Patna Park Development Society would be a long-term solution to the issue. It has been estimated that the monthly maintenance expenses for each park would be around Rs 25,000.”
Bihar Urban Infrastructure Development Corporation and Bihar State Housing Board are the executing agencies of the urban development and housing department. The 70 parks to be handed over to them were developed by different government agencies, including Bihar Rajya Pul Nirman Nigam Limited and rural works department.
Senior officials in Bihar Urban Infrastructure Development Corporation claimed that tenders for the maintenance of a few parks had been floated.
“The park development work would be taken up under our corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative. We would first take up the maintenance of the developed parks. Tenders for few of them have been floated and we would award the contract as soon as the parks are handed over to us,” said a senior official of Bihar Urban Infrastructure Development Corporation.
He said the under-developed or dilapidated parks would be developed in the future using CSR funds. “We would install benches and swings. Jogging tracks would be redeveloped. Landscaping work would also be done in the developed parks,” he said.
Senior officials in the urban development and housing department claimed that there was no proposal to introduce entry charges after the park maintenance mechanism becomes a reality.
Residents hailed the initiative of the urban development and housing department to maintain the parks. “The park in our colony is in a dilapidated condition for long. The co-operative society does not want to take it over from the government because of financial reasons. Handing over the parks to the state-owned corporations and the constitution of individual park maintenance societies are welcome initiatives. Hope the park in my colony would also be developed,” said Anil Kumar, a resident of AG Colony.
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