Friday, October 19, 2007

Roundabouts looking beautiful

PATNA: In an era when public-private participation in civic amenities is fast catching up, the Patna district administration too has roped in the services of such organisations for undertaking the beautification drive in the city.

According to sources, there are three main components of this drive: decking up city roundabouts and their upkeep, lighting and maintaining high mast lights and sprucing up spaces notified for parks.

Twenty-five of the 85 roundabouts in the city have already been decked up by private parties and efforts are on to rope in more organisations for taking up work on the rest of the roundabouts.

"I took this initiative in the light of the Patna High Court directive issued in 2002 which talked about undertaking a beautification drive in the city," said Patna DM B Rajender.

He said the beginning made on this front is proving beneficial both for the administration and the private organisations who are making monetary contribution. "We are getting it done without any burden on the exchequer and the private organisations are using the spaces for advertisement," Rajender said.

As for the high mast lights, the DM said most of them had become defunct due to non-maintenance, but after collaboration with private institutions, 18 of them have been made functional.

The agencies taking care of them are also paying the bills for the electricity consumed.
The DM, however, admitted the desired results are yet to come as far as inviting private participation in decking up the city parks is concerned.

Sources attributed it to the dilly-dallying attitude of the housing board under whose jurisdiction most of the city parks fall.

"Of the 95 such parks, one has been developed so far and if the housing board expedites the handing over process, things could improve drastically as there are many interested parties willing to ‘adopt’ these parks," said an official.