Palike to pump ward funds into RWH

Water management: Horticulture and Forest depts to be merged

Following a review meeting with the Horticulture and Lake Departments, Deputy Mayor S Harish told mediapersons that the decision was taken with utmost earnestness to tide over the water crisis the City had been facing year after year.

“The move will ensure that the corporators take the implementation of the RWH system with sincerity and also help regenerate the depleting groundwater level,” Harish said.

Merger of departments

The 20-per cent allocation from the ward funds towards RWH implementation will also be matched by the BBMP when the budgetary allocations are made for the year 2011-12.

“The commissioner has promised that the matching grants towards RWH will also be provided by the BBMP,” he said.

The Palike has also decided to merge the Horticulture and Forest Departments. “The move has been made in view of the revenue losses the BBMP is facing due to employment of extra hands to run the Forest Department,” the Deputy Mayor said.

He said the civic authority would provide more impetus to developing playgrounds rather than parks. Parks would be created only if more than half an acre of land is available. Also, landscaping would not be allowed and stress would be on formation of tree parks, he added.

In the review meeting, it was stated that officials had been directed to ensure all parks have rainwater harvesting systems in place, besides making provision for percolation and composting pits.

All parks must have at least one public toilet and one watchman shed.

Security of parks would now be the responsibility of the Horticulture Department, officials were told. Harish said the sapling plantation drive would be intensified across the city. A total of six lakh seedlings are ready for plantation with metal guards to protect them. The plantation drive would be taken up before the onset of monsoon, he said.

The meeting also proposed to involve the Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India (CREDAI) for maintenance of parks and junction improvements.

However, the Deputy Mayor categorically denied any park would be handed over to CREDAI for development. “CREDAI will handle only the development of 50-odd junctions; no park will be handed over to private associations for maintenance,” he said.

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