Civic body has called for tenders to improve four parks; plans to hand over them to private sponsors for maintenance

More than 18 months after Tiruchirapalli City Corporation unveiled proposals to improve public parks under an ambitious city beautification plan to be taken up on public-private partnership mode, a majority of the parks, which serve as the critical green space, are lying in neglect owing to poor maintenance.

P.T. Rajan Park in Woraiyur, which some years ago, attracted residents in droves after being developed in a big way by the corporation in association with a nationalised bank, stands testimony to the abject neglect. The corporation had then invested heavily on developing the park with a children's amusement enclosure named ‘Vanna Kalanchiam,'.

The corporation even collected an entry fee and had realised substantial revenue as the park became popular destination for an evening outing for many. But the civic body has stopped collecting the entry fee now as the park lies in tatters with all the amusement equipment being badly damaged.

The children’s amusement area with ‘ball pits,’ slides, and other equipment has been raddled. Broken iron rails and rusted steel edges pose a threat to the few who still visit the park . A decorative fountain and lights are in ruin.

“A few years ago, the park was buzzing with children and adults. It is shocking how the place was allowed to become an eyesore. In the absence of compound walls, anti-social elements jump over the fence and hang around the park,” says a senior citizen from the locality.

Over the years, the corporation had invested big sum to improve some of the parks, especially Ibrahim Park on the West Boulevard Road and Parangiri Vellupillai Park at Cantonment. But it has failed to ensure their proper upkeep.

In April last year, Mayor A. Jaya had convened a meeting to invite sponsors to take part in the beautification efforts of the civic body. The corporation, she then said, was keen to ensure that all the 83 parks within the city limits were improved and maintained properly. These include 32 parks in K. Abishekapuram zone, 26 in Golden Rock, 17 in Ariyamangalam, and eight in Srirangam zone.

Tenders called

According to corporation sources, the civic body has recently called for tenders to improve four parks in the city, including P.T. Rajan Park. The corporation plans to hand over the parks to private sponsors after developing the parks and gradually improve them, the sources added.