The once-popular children’s park on the Pushpagiri Road in Thiruvalla is fast getting a facelift. Thanks to the civic body’s decision to outsource the recreational facility in the heart of the town.

The park situated in an extent of one-acre land in a prime locality in Thiruvalla town has been lying more or less in an abandoned state for the past seven years. At one stage, the civic body had even made it a waste dumping yard till the public protest against it turned vehement.

The municipality has now leased out the facility to a private agency for three years at a total lease amount of Rs. 1,45,000, said Mr. Cherian Polachirackal, municipal chairman.

According to Mr Jacob Vanchippalam, former civic body chief who took the initiative in leasing out the recreation facility, the municipality decision was in the larger interests of exploiting the tourism potential of this Central Travancore town.

Four young entrepreneurs, John Mathew, Rajan Cherukara, Lal Nandavanam and Prakashbabu, who have undertaken the task of running the park told The Hindu that they have re-designed the park and on completion, it would be the first one of its kind in the whole State.

Pali Creations, a Thiruvalla-based guild of 150 artists, have redesigned the park and construction work is fast progressing for its formal inauguration on November 1.

Mr. Sunil Pali, chief architect of Pali Creations, told The Hindu that the park has been designed in such a way that each visitor could feel the artistic sense and beauty of a lost native tradition and heritage.

The park will be an innovative one that showcases the native folklore tradition and life style of the yore, says Mr. Sunil Pali.

Bamboo, clay, laterite, raw granite pieces, treated husk, etc, have been used for construction of various structures at the park. A double-storey restaurant made of clay, granite and bamboo, giant models of Theyyam masks and an ornamental gate have already been completed at the park.

Visitors will have the facility to taste different native snacks, like Vattayappom, Valsan, Therali, etc, which are not available at common eateries.

An open-air theatre and stage would be set up at the park for showing films and staging various cultural programmes on Sundays, besides boating facilities in the adjoining canal leading to river Pampa, say the organisers.

Mr. Sunil Pali said an ‘Anthill Palace’, made of clay, sticky soil and bamboo, for children, a fish pond and tree houses, would be the other major attractions at the park.

It is noteworthy that the children’s park set up by the municipality way back in 1995 was handed over to the District Tourism Promotion Council. Visitors stopped frequenting the park in the next few years itself reportedly owing to its poor upkeep and absence of security cover for the visiting families there.

The park was lying locked for the past seven years, leaving the place a safe haven for anti-social elements.

The local people have taken the initiative to outsource the facility as a positive signal for the development of the town.