Nagpur: The Nagpur Municipal Corporation’s (NMC) Ashi Nagar zone has allegedly violated civic rules and orders from the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court by allotting a school premises and its playground to BVG India for use as a garbage transfer station and parking lot. This action contradicts the rules set by the NMC and the State government, which prohibit the use of school premises and playgrounds for such purposes. The High Court had previously issued orders restricting the use of playgrounds for anything other than sports, according to a report in a local English daily.
According to the report, former BSP Corporator Jitendra Godeshwar raised concerns about the issue. He stated that the Rani Durgawati School, operated by the NMC for the past 25 years in the densely-populated area of Panchsheel Nagar in North Nagpur, had been transferred to another school in Bababuddh Nagar, citing an insufficient number of students.
Godeshwar further revealed that his demand to establish an English medium school at the existing building, which included a spacious playground, had been approved by the NMC a year ago with a sanctioned amount of Rs 1.5 crore. However, instead of opening the school, the Ashi Nagar Zone Assistant Commissioner, Harish Raut, allocated the premises and playground to BVG India for the purpose of setting up a garbage transfer station and vehicle parking two months ago.
As a result, not only are the children from the locality affected, but also those from other areas who are forced to play amidst the garbage and vehicles of BVG India. Citizens in the vicinity are facing significant inconvenience due to the persistent foul odor and regular movement of garbage vehicles. Godeshwar suspects that the delayed opening of the English medium school is a deliberate attempt to benefit BVG India.
MLC and Nagpur City BJP President Pravin Datke criticized the decision, calling it a major scam. He emphasized that the officials involved, as well as the operator, should be held accountable. Datke pointed out that NMC officials are providing civic property, specifically a school and its playground, to BVG India, thereby saving the operator’s expenses. He further noted that despite a resolution passed by the general body to terminate contracts with garbage operators 16 months ago, the NMC administration is going out of its way to shield and provide favours to them.
The rules explicitly prohibit civic zones from allotting lands, and officials from NMC’s estate department have confirmed that no permission was granted to BVG India for the use of the school premises.
BVG Director Ganesh Limaye stated that the Ashi Nagar Zone Chief Sanitary Officer had given permission on November 30, 2022, to utilize the school for vehicle parking. Zone Chief Sanitary Officer Kishor Bagde acknowledged that BVG India is indeed parking its vehicles on the school premises, but he claimed to be unaware of who granted the permission for this arrangement.
As per the contract with NMC, the two garbage operators are supposed to park vehicles at land allotted by the civic body for maintenance near Bhandewadi Dumping Yard and at garbage transfer stations. The civic body has already allotted space for garbage transfer stations in all 10 zones. The contract also says that the operators should arrange more land on rent if needed.
This is the second glaring irregularity committed by Ashi Nagar zone. For three years, the zone had allotted Nagpur Improvement Trust land to BVG India for garbage transfer station and parking of vehicles in Mahendra Nagar.