The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) has pumped in more than Rs 10 crore to give Delhi a green makeover for the Commonwealth Games (CWG).NDMC has spent Rs 10 cr to beautify parks and public spaces. Its massive revamp effort, which started three years ago, has involved turning around 1,100 parks, 53 roundabouts, and 93 pavements, besides planting 2.5 million saplings of 100 plant varieties, worth Rs 1.23 crore, and 20,000 trees.Armed with saplings of perennial and seasonal plants, notably Hamelia, Ixora, Acalypha, Araucaria, Lavender, Kochia and Euphorbia Milii, around 1,200 men of the NDMC’s horticulture department were involved in this massive plantation exercise. And ironically, the monsoon, which had slowed down the pace of work in the CWG Village and stadia, actually gave a great last-minute boost to the greenification drive. The heavy downpours helped the horticulture department conserve the city’s dwindling water resources.Subhash Chandra, director (horticulture), NDMC, said he and his team planned the plantation strategy keeping in mind the city’s “climate, soil texture and resources in mind.” Focusing only on “doable” projects, Chandra zeroed in on roundabouts at Shanti Path, Lodi Road, Kautilya Marg, Sardar Patel Road, Niti Marg, Janpath, Pusa Road, Rani Jhansi Road, Tulsi Marg and Desh Bandhu Gupta Road to turn them around with colourful flower beds, perennial herbs, trimmed shrubs, trees and (at some places) fountains.But Chandra is proudest of the Commonwealth Games Park, which came up before the promised five-star hotel The Leela Palace, which was scheduled to open in time for the jamboree, on Africa Avenue (Chanakyapuri).advertisementThe horticulture department planned the park, spread over 2.5 acres, in a manner that would remind Delhiites of a hill station. The usual flat garden look made way for undulating hillocks with herb and flower beds, and a jogging track that winds through them. Trees mark the park’s boundary, instead of the standard cemented wall. Iron benches have made way for seating on tree stumps.”We started work on the CWG Park a year ago. The tree trunks used are of those trees that got uprooted in the rains,” said NDMC official Rajesh Kumar, who developed the park. Elsewhere, ornamental potted plants will greet you at the entrance of the NDMC-run parks. The muddy patches in various parks have been replaced by thick coats of grass and walking tracks have been laid out for visitors.Those driving on Shanti Path, Africa Avenue and Kautilya Marg will have a good reason to look out of their car windows to admire the mini lawns that have been laid out on both sides of the roads.The NDMC roped in private consultants for 10 major streetscaping projects on Park Street, Ramakrishna Ashram Marg, Udyan Marg, Aurobindo Marg and Mandir Marg, but its own teams were involved in the landscaping of parks, roundabouts and pavements, said Chandra proudly.The NDMC is ensuring that this greenification drive is not a one-time affair. “A third of the plants that we used are seasonal; two-thirds are perennial – these can last for more than five years,” Chandra said. “Our job is not over yet. Beautification requires intensive maintenance work.” That’s something the city will expect from the NDMC.