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When will the children play in Bhujanga Park?

Special Correspondent
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The park has been close for renovation for more than two years

Wild grass overruns the deserted Children’s Corner of Bhujanga Park in Udupi. In the background is the Radio Tower.
Wild grass overruns the deserted Children’s Corner of Bhujanga Park in Udupi. In the background is the Radio Tower.

The renovation of the eastern or front portion of Bhujanga Park is running behind schedule by at least three and half months. It’s been two years since the portion has been closed for the upgrade. With the result, there is growth of wild grass almost everywhere.

This one-acre portion is one of the few lung spaces in the city. What makes this area more appealing is that besides a garden, it has a Radio Tower and a Children’s Corner. The Radio Tower, which stands on a rock in the midst of the park, has historical importance for it was here Mahatma Gandhi delivered a speech on February 25, 1934.

Till a few years ago, evening walkers and residents used to listen to the All India Radio news at 6 p.m. and other programmes at the park.

A bust of Mahatma Gandhi greets you as soon as you enter it. Beside it, a new skating rink is being constructed. Though the side portion of the rink has been constructed, the flooring of central portion is yet to be taken up. The rink is 17-feet wide and its 450 feet long.

The walker’s track and herbal garden have disappeared during the period it was closed. In the Children’s Corner, the swing set has no swing seats. The stairs leading to the lone slide is covered with wild grass.

Two years ago, the Udupi City Municipal Council (CMC) decided to take up the renovation of this portion, but the work did not begin. The CMC changed its decision and took up renovation of the first and second stages of park comprising about seven acres on the rear side (of the eastern portion). A tar road separates the front and back portions of the park.

Amrita Krishnamurthy, vice-president of Udupi CMC, said that the delay in the work of skating rink was due to the decision of the CMC to increase the height of the railing from two to four feet to make it more secure for the skaters. The CMC would rope in donors for the rest of the renovation work.

“Already a nationalised bank has come forward to take up the maintenance work of the front portion of the park. The renovation work might take at least one-and-a-half month to be completed,” she said. There are over 500 roller skaters in the district.

Laxminarayana Upadhya, roller skating coach, said that skating rink was not enough. A dressing room, toilet facility and lighting facility should be provided close to the rink.

“Since the rink has been built on a height, a platform of similar height should be constructed so that parents could watch their children skate,” he said.

P. Babu, a contractor, who has done the first phase work of the skating rink, said that it would take about a month to do flooring work of the central portion. “Since tender processing is done through e-procurement, it is likely to take time,” he said.

The park has been closed for renovation for two years

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