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Not many hands to adopt parks

Sreekantswamy B, Mysore, Jan 17, 2013, DHNS:

Failed venture forces MCC ;to continue with existing system

It was over a month ago, Mysore City Corporation (MCC) came out with a plan to rope in private parties for the maintenance of parks and circle islands in the city. Now, it seems to be a futile attempt, with tepid response to the very initiative.

The civic body is mulling over continuing with the existing system inviting tenders from the interested agencies for the maintenance of the parks. As a related procedure, 53 parks of the total 235 remaining parks identified for development have been listed.

Sources said, the city corporation has in its limits a total of 388 parks spread over 415 acres of land. Among them, 153 parks are fully developed making for 219 acres of land. What remains is 235 parks on 166 acres.

When the extent of parks marked for development is huge, the corporation authorities thought of public-private-partnership (PPP). The reason, it would be additional burden for MCC; both men and material wise, and also monetary resources.

Initially, Mysore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) seemed to be the probable partner with over 20,000 industries under the umbrella. Two rounds of meetings were also conducted with the representatives of MCCI.

However, barring a corporator (B L Bhyrappa of Ward 12), a journalist (Rajashekar Koti) and Mysore Institute of Commerce nobody evinced interest in the initiative. The corporator took over the task of a park in J P Nagar, while he has partnered with the journalist in the maintenance of Puttaraja Gawai Stadium in the same locality. The institute of commerce zeroed in on Venkataramana Swamy Temple circle on KRS road and Mahatma Gandhi circle, V V Mohalla.

What has stymied MCC in taking up the development of parks on its own is the lack of gardeners, also the main reason. There are 193 gardeners including 53 women in total, among whom, 20 per cent are sapping of energy due to old age, and equal per cent of absentees; both formal and informal. Those sapping of energy are not only old aged, but have crossed the retirement age too.

The impediment here is contrasting norms of the government. The said gardeners had already completed a decade long service when the government decided to consider their services. Hence they started afresh. According to the horticulture department, there is a requirement of one gardener for every half-acre area of the park. On the flip side, it’s the government again that has frozen recruitment of new gardeners.

 

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