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Maintaining 1500 acres of Green Area of New Delhi: Applaudable Effort by NDMC even at the wake of COVID-19

Dr. Lakshmi Unnithan
Dr. Lakshmi Unnithan

New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) is the municipal council of New Delhi, India and the area under its administration is referred to as the NDMC area. NDMC, is governed by a council headed by a Chairperson. NDMC has different departments and Horticulture is one among them. The Union Territory of Delhi is divided into three statutory urban regions: the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), and the Delhi Cantonment Board.

Urban horticulture plays an important role in aesthetics and promotes stress free atmosphere. 15 Lakh people are regularly visiting the New Delhi Municipal Council area on behalf of various official purposes. To facilitate the citizens who are visiting the area it’s the primary Duty of NDMC to maintain the roads, parks, avenue roads and provide aesthetics to each specific region so that the memories just remain forever. It is an appaludable effort of NDMC to maintain 1500 acres of green area 135 Green avenues,10 major parks, 1400 Residential Colony parks, 52 Roundabouts, 3 nurseries, 3 hi- tech nurseries, 3 International Relationships Memorial Parks, 3 Happiness Areas and four famous garden like Nehru Park, Lodhi Garden, Talkatora Garden and Sanjay Jheel in New Delhi area.

Urbanization in Delhi has led to an increasing pressure on land and consequently dwindling resources for maintenance. Visiting Common areas like India Gate lawns, Parks and Gardens are very popular on Saturdays and Sundays. We see a good crowd assembled in all the areas to enjoy the sights. Every spring in Delhi, hundreds to thousands of citizens visit these areas for sightseeing purposes. Each Spring is a sight for our Citizens and these are immaculately kept by the New Delhi Municipal Council. This Spring we had the New Delhi region bright shining in various colours of Tulips. At present the nationwide lockdown imposed to curb the spread of the corona virus has taken a toll on the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC ) Horticulture department too. But the Director Horticulture Mr Cheliah Sellamuthu, says they are positive in continuously maintaining the greenery in New Delhi.

Due to lockdown majority of the staff and employees are at home but however considering the importance of public areas being the backbone of New Delhi, Horticulture Department with the consent of the authorities are deploying bare minimum field staff for the same work where 300-400  Gardeners used to be there. The Director also says that NDMC feels this to be a crucial time to keep your surroundings clean. Also if not maintained will lead to irrecoverable greenery damage which will take years and years to bring back.

Main threatening issue the Director, Horticulture feels is losingthe heritage trees due to old age and those surviving fewer feeder roots get the strength mainly by frequent watering. It is a responsibility to see the status of the trees preserved. Due to autumn season and sudden rise in temperature has led to the increased rate of leaf fallen and layer of lying leaves in all avenues, colony parks and major parks keep raising an issue of Leaf litter. This has to be kept removed timely by collection and disposed appropriately says the Director. Leaving leaves in heaps also leads to fire incidents. Postponed operations may give huge pressure in lifting mechanism. Therefore, considering these all issues and maintaining standard of Council is a prime necessity and so the Horticulture Department is working full time overseeing these responsibilities.

In the crucial hours of Lock down the workers also have challenging issues in travelling and reaching the offices. NDMC's takes proper care for and staff hygienic measures. All the workers are educated for proper use of Mask and Washing of Hands, Using Sanitizer, and Social Distancing and they are monitored also. As we wrap up the talk The Director also specially thanks and salutes His staff especially the Sanitation Sevaks, Gardeners, Garden Supervisors, Mr Choudhary, for bravely attending duty with service in mind. He also states that a Good team can work wonders and if it is across all verticals in India, this country can never be beaten.

I appreciate the bravery and I pay my respects to the Director Sir and Staff, Horticulture NDMC

Jai Hind

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