The Coimbatore Corporation has begun works to provide a facelift to the traffic islands as part of beautifying the city for the World Classical Tamil Conference in June.

As many as 15 traffic islands are being taken up for the facelift. Lawn grass, ornamental plants, fountains and enough protection from abuse are the measures being taken up. Some of the traffic islands are getting terracotta figurines of animals such as horses and camels.

“We want these islands and whatever we install in these now to last much beyond the conference,” Corporation South Zone Chairman P. Pynthamil. Eight traffic islands at Sungam Junction in his ward number 25 were being improved.

“This junction is the busiest in the city as vehicles come into the city from Pollachi and Kerala and a number of vehicles change directions from here to Tiruchi Road or Avanashi Road,” he said. The outlay for these islands was Rs. 10 lakh. Mr. Pari said another Rs. 2 lakh was being sought as the present allocation was inadequate, considering the nature of the works to be done. Two of the islands would get fountains.

All the islands would have a three-layer barricading in order to prevent people from using it as a resting place. But, enough visibility of vehicles would be ensured, Mr. Pari said, when pointed out that many traffic islands in the city proved dangerous for vehicle users.

The Coimbatore Corporation Council’s Standing Committee on Education, Parks and Playgrounds also called for measures to maintain the parks and traffic islands, especially during summer when green spaces were the first victims of water shortage.

Committee Chairman R. Kalyanasundaram said the roadside parks coming up on Avanashi Road were inspected on Monday. “We told the officials that proper watering was a vital part of maintenance. We want the parks and islands to be green throughout the year. Dried grass and plants will be an eyesore. Such a condition will only negate the efforts being taken now,” he said.

There was a lot of focus now on creating green spaces in the city. Till a few years ago, the record of creating and maintaining parks was poor, Mr. Kalyanasundaram said.

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