Bindu Shajan Perappadan

Society to have an initial corpus fund of Rs.3 crore

Aims to increase green cover, plant more trees

NEW DELHI: The State Environment, Forest and Wildlife Department’s ambitious project, the Delhi Parks and Gardens Society, aimed at protecting the existing city greens from depletion is now scouting for a chief executive officer for the newborn organisation.

Though the last date for applying for the post is June 15, the Department has already received as many as 80 applications and more are coming in.

The work responsibility of the CEO will include steering the Department in planning and creating green sinks in the nearly 15,000 gardens and parks (14,000 of them belonging to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi and 1,100 to the New Delhi Municipal Council) existing in the city. The CEO will also select parks and prepare a work plan for greening.

The Society will have an initial corpus fund of Rs.3 crore and will have access to funds from the MPs’ and MLAs’ Funds and Bhagidari assistance. It can undertake awareness campaigns and hold competitions to encourage excellence.

“The Society will offer a framework to work and allow working in collaboration with private companies and residents’ welfare associations. What we are doing now is preliminary work to appoint a person who can head the Society,” said a senior official in the Environment, Forest and Wildlife Department.

There was, he said, a need to get the Society to start functioning full steam ahead since the city will be hosting the Commonwealth Games in 2010.

According to a Departmental estimate, several parks and gardens in the Capital are not well maintained and there is a tremendous scope for expanding the city’s green cover. The objectives of the Society include undertaking tree plantation and increasing the green cover in Delhi from 19 per cent to 25 per cent and raising it from 300 sq. km. to 370 sq. km, besides working with residents’ welfare organisations (RWAs), NGOs and local civic bodies to identify vacant spaces in gardens and parks and maintain them. It will also look at providing grants and enable eco-friendly outlets to be created outside each garden and park for covering the maintenance expenses and making each green space run on a self-sustaining basis.

All this besides regulating the contribution by registered bodies like RWAs, NGOs , schools and the corporate sector that will part finance the creation and maintenance of such spaces.