‘Need more funds for upkeep of parks‘

CHANDIGARH: Municipal corporation (MC) should revise maintenance cost of neighbourhood annually considering the increasing operation cost. Federation of Sectors‘ Welfare Association of Chandigarh (Foswac) made the suggestion in a meeting with the MC mayor Davesh Moudgil.

Foswac raised an issue stating that there has been no revision in the rates since 2013 when the MoU was signed between FOSWAC and MC for the maintenance of neighbourhood parks. The members time and again have said that in the face of rising prices of plants, equipment and money given to gardeners, it becomes hard to meet the operational cost involved in the maintenance. It is thus the need of the hour to increase the for the same. As per MC officials, the RWAs are getting Rs 2.48 paisa per square for a park. Foswac members said that the MC is paying around Rs 3, 500 for each park while the operational cost touches Rs 7,000 now as the staff cost and other expenses have increased.

No revision in the rates since 2013 when the MoU was signed between FOSWAC and MC for the maintenance of neighbourhood parks.

Foswac chairman Baljinder Singh Bittu said majority of the RWAs have been receiving delayed payments from the MC and the amount being received is not enough to meet the expenses. Contradicting the figures forwarded by MC, he said RWAs are receiving Rs 1.50 to Rs 2 per square feet instead of Rs 2.48 per square feet as maintenance funds as the authorities deduct from the funds for various expenditures.

He added that MC has been spending Rs 6 per square feet for the parks which are under their maintenance. As many as 40 neighbourhood parks were surrendered by an RWA in April 2018 to the Chandigarh municipal corporation after not being able to maintain them anymore.

He added that to increase the funding, a number of representations were forwarded by Foswac to the authorities in the past but to no avail.

As there has been a delay in disbursement of payment and no revision in the cost of maintenance of the parks, various RWAs have been demanding from their area councillors to revise the funds allotted for the maintenance of these parks as the operational cost now is almost double the funds they are receiving from the authorities.

As per the norms, every month Rs 12, 900 is allocated to each RWA for the maintenance of the parks in their area out of which 10, 000 is allocated for the salary of the staff and rest is to be used for the purchase of seeds, equipment and other required materials.

Col Gursewak Singh, president of RWA-MHC, said he had raised the issue a number of times in the past to revise the maintenance cost of the parks on annual basis keeping up with the fluctuating operational costs.

MC mayor said the authorities will consider the proposal and draft a plan accordingly if required for a final nod from the House.

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