cbd-garden-2Encroachment within a garden is the worst example of the ward office and NMMC Encroachment Dept. not doing their duty. Shilpa Suryavanshi travels to one such garden in CBD Belapur for this report that perhaps is the first test of local corporator of the ward – NCP’s Swati Gurkhe. This garden is meant for the locals of this area in CBD Belapur but today it has been encroached upon by illegal hutments of labours working allegedly for one contractor of NMMC viz. “M/s Ask Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd.”. The popular Nana Nani Park was built by former corporator of the node Dr. Jayaji Nath but today lies in ruins due to the apathy of local corporator and NMMC ward office. With labours living in illegal hutments within the garden, greenery has died and there filth and dirt all around. Even as the condition of the playthings make it look like there was a garden here “once upon a time”. Obviously locals are blaming their former corporator under whose tenure this garden was built and whose negligence permitted the NMMC contractor to use the public garden as if it was his own property. Some residents expressed their concern on the pitiable condition of the garden in their area. When we met the local ward officer of the area, he gave us the lame excuse that their office had removed illegal huts two months back indicating that their office is aware that this particular garden is vulnerable to encroachment. The officer however assured NMTV News that within 8 days the huts would be removed. It is not difficult to understand that if NMMC contractor “M/s Ask Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd.” is using a NMMC garden for providing shelter to his own labours, then he has been doing so with the blessings of the former local corporator and NMMC officials or he does not fear the consequences of encroaching upon a public garden knowing the negligence and lax attitude that plagues corporators and officials working at NMMC. Whatever the reason be, it will be a wait and watch to see how the new local corporator – the young Swati Gurkhe of NCP takes up this burning issue of tax paying citizens of her ward. With cameraperson Kala Jadhav, Shilpa Suryawanshi for NMTV news.

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