‘Some elders play kabaddi on this rugged ground in the evening'
Seven years ago the park was beautiful, ideal, and was adjudged the best park in the town. ‘Sri Kodali Venkateswara Rao (Nani) Park', popularly known as the Rajendra Nagar Park now stands testimony to improper maintenance.
The fountain constructed in the middle of the park has no water and is filled with filth. The Mother Theressa statue that was erected with much fanfare is pulled down. The playpen items are in a bad shape. Still, the children love to play in the park and make use of wrecked play items such as merry go round.
“We don't have any other park in the vicinity. We play ‘koti kommachi'. Some elders play kabaddi on this rugged ground in the evening,” says Sai, a fifth standard student of Montessori School.
The people come here daily. But, there are no benches to sit. The garbage remained scattered in the park. The authorities had failed to check the stray dog menace, they said. Besides, the area had wild growth. There are pits all over the place and garbage is strewn right at the entrance, the residents allege.
Apart from the poor maintenance and the lack of gardeners, there exists many anti-social elements in the park during the evening and ultimately it becomes unsafe for girls to walk here. The lights are always switched off at night, the residents complain.
The municipal authorities, however, have a different tale to tell. Municipal Commissioner N. Pramod Kumar says the park is not neglected. The topographical area of the park was a challenge. It's like a saucer. The drainage and sullage from nearby houses stagnate in the park. Unless, the outfall drain is completed, the problem will continue.
There are plans to redevelop the park at a cost of Rs.50 lakh. The park will sport a new look in next three months, he says.
The park was constructed by the Public Works Department in 2005. About Rs.15 lakh was spent on development of the park. Later, in 2008 an entrance arch was constructed.