Private initiative invited

Sometime ago, the Coimbatore Corporation embarked on an ambitious plan to have the city’s parks maintained, and reserve sites developed into parks through the public-private partnership mode.

It had selected 20 parks — at five each a zone — for the purpose, invited residents’ welfare associations, representatives of companies and other organisations and non-government organisations and conducted two meetings.

The Corporation had said that it would be willing to construct compound wall or provide electricity connection or do what was necessary if the associations or companies or NGOs came forward to do their bit and maintain the parks. It had also laid down a number of conditions for the purpose.

Soon after the meetings, a number of people came forward to develop the parks. They submitted applications for parks in the format the Corporation specified. The Corporation got around 60 applications, said a Corporation source.

But nothing much happened thereafter. A few people who had submitted applications withdrew them or did not work to improve things on the ground, barring a few exceptions. The park in Ward 74 in Veerappathevar Colony was a notable exception in that the residents and private players had come together to develop the park.

In a few other cases, the people who had come forward had done quite a few things but things had not proceeded on the expected lines, the sources said and added that the same was true of the proposal for development of traffic islands as well.

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