Citizens of Sector 29, Vashi are up against arms with NMMC for handing over the only garden in their vicinity to Goldcrest School that belongs to Union Minister for Heavy Industries Vilasrao Deshmukh. Residents say that like all other gardens in the city, even their garden should be maintained by NMMC and no private agency. The tale of residents’ grievances in regards to the Rajiv Gandhi Garden at Sector 29, Vashi is a long one. It may be recalled that after lot of protests and demands, the NMMC had taken up the beautification of the garden two years ago. At that time the garden was reeling under pathetic conditions. Now that the garden is developed, another reason has become the cause of worry for locals here. Residents of Sector 29, Vashi and nearby areas fear the handing over their garden to a school in their sector. And the reason is that most schools who have been allotted public playgrounds in their locality use the ground as the school’s property. That is why ever since the NMMC handed over the garden to Goldcrest School at Sector 29 Vashi, residents are protesting the decision. They say that in the past too their garden was given to a private agency that never maintained their garden that is why they do not trust any private agencies. The residents of Sector 29, Vashi have decided to continue their protest unless NMMC scraps its decision of giving the garden to Goldcrest School for maintenance. Residents recalled the efforts they put in for the garden and are demanding that NMMC maintain the garden on its own. President of Senior Citizen Association informed us that 3 years ago as well the maintenance contract of the garden was given to a private agency. He says that the residents do not trust any private agency even if it’s a school because the school will think of its own benefit. The fight of the locals is going to be an uphill task as it is against a school that belongs to the mighty Union Minister for Heavy Industries and former Chief Minister of the state Vilasrao Deshmukh. That is why there are little chances that the NMMC will revert on its decision. When we met the NCP corporator of the area Sunanda Raut, her ignorance was appalling – because the corporator was completely ignorant about the matter. She said that residents of her ward seem to be misinformed about the entire issue. She added that she had met Thane Guardian Minister Ganesh Naik and NMMC officials, and assured that the garden would not be given to the school for maintenance. Looks like the NCP Corporator Sunanda Raut is completely ignorant on the issue and has not even bothered to take up the matter with either the Goldcrest School management or NMMC administration. This is because when NMTV News visited Goldcrest School, the management refused to speak on camera but confirmed that they have already been given the garden by NMMC for maintenance for a period of three years. Once again the political bureaucracy nexus has got over public interest of the residents of an area who pay probably the highest property tax but have been robbed of the only garden in their area. Even the ignorant NCP corporator has failed in her very first test after getting elected to get justice to the tax-paying citizens of her ward. With bureau inputs, Gangasingh Rajpurohit for NMTV News.
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