After eight years of being under the care of city-based NGO iamgurgaon, the custody of the Aravali Biodiversity Park is set to change hands. While officially under the purview of the MCG, the NGO looked after day-to-day park maintenance.
With the memorandum of understanding with iamgurgaon set to lapse, the municipal corporation began looking for a custodian earlier this year. According to a ‘Times of India’ report, a senior official of the MCG confirmed that a new MoU was all but signed with an undisclosed automotive giant based in the city. Once the deal is made official, the park’s maintenance will be looked after by the company’s CSR team for a period of five years.
Under the care of the NGO, Aravali Biodiversity Park flourished with all its 153 hectares of land being packed with rich foliage. Thousands of residents gather at the park to get some exercise or simply soak in nature.
The initial months of the pandemic-induced lockdown kept residents out of the park but allowed the flora and fauna to flourish. Its reopening in June was met with much excitement from the city’s inhabitants.
As detailed by MCG commissioner Vinay Pratap Singh, for the past eight years, the park’s looking-after was “anchored” by the NGO which would approach corporate houses in the city for funding for park maintenance. Since the MoU lapsed in March and the corporation wanting iamgurgaon to focus on other projects throughout the city, the decision to put the park under the automotive company’s control came about.
The company’s CSR funds will be used to run the park and, according to Singh, would look after not only maintenance but also new concepts for the city’s largest nature reserve. For now, iamgurgaon will work to facilitate this handover.
The past few years have seen attempts by the government to build a road running through the park I’m order to divert the heavy traffic running on the stretch of National Highway 8 which connects Gurgaon and Faridabad. The proposal was met with heavy opposition by people of the city who called for the conservation of the city’s only significant green patch, and the proposals have been on hold ever since. Developments in this regard will be eagerly watched as this transfer of ownership takes place after 15th December.