BMC finally passes new policy on city’s open recreational spaces

BMC finally passes new policy on city’s open recreational spaces

By Accommodation Times News Service

Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has finally passed the new policy on recreational space, surpassing all the opposition.

The long awaited recreational ground and playground policy (RG/PG) policy has been finally passed by the BMC yesterday in a general body meeting.  The policy was passed with majority, as Shiv Sena convinced the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to support it.

Under the policy, local residential societies will be given priority to adopt the RG/PG spaces and the maintained spaces will remain open from 6am to 9pm, among other provisions. BMC has 1,500 gardens and 1,068 open plots under its jurisdiction, with a budget allocation of Rs500crore for their upkeep.

Ironically, nine clubs already allotted to political leaders in the past, have been kept out of this policy. With this, the BMC has finally drawn curtains on the care-taker policy, wherein plots were given to private organizations for 33 years and 33 per cent of the plot could be developed for commercial purposes. The proceeds could be used for the maintenance of rest of the plot.

The care-taker, however, charged an entry fees from the public, which attracted the ire of citizens and activists. Now the civic body will allow plots to be maintained only on adoption basis for five years. Approval of the policy has paved way for the civic body to dole out open spaces to corporate companies and private players for maintenance.

Meanwhile, additional municipal commissioner S V R Srinivas said the policy clearly stated no construction, such as gymnasiums or club houses, will be allowed on open spaces and the companies or residents groups adopting the plot will not be able to benefit from any commercial use of the plots.

Highlights of the policy:
1. Local residential societies will be given priority
2. Monitoring committee under zonal deputy municipal commissioners will be formed
3. No club houses, gymnasiums or any kind of construction
4. Maintained spaces will remain open from 6am to 9pm
5. No commercial usage will be allowed
6. Children under 12 years of age and senior citizens will be given free entry
7. The policy will be covered under the ambit of Right To Information (RTI) Act

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