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Once blooming parks, now shrivelled for maintenance

S.Ganesan
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P.T.Rajan Park lies in neglect with worn-out amusement tools

crying for attention: The damaged amusement tools at the P.T.Rajan Park at Woraiyur in Tiruchi. — PHOTO:R.M. RAJARATHINAM.
crying for attention: The damaged amusement tools at the P.T.Rajan Park at Woraiyur in Tiruchi. — PHOTO:R.M. RAJARATHINAM.

Many of the public parks, which serve as the critical lung space amidst the rapid urbanisation, are in a state of neglect in the city for want of proper maintenance.

Though the Corporation lists as many as 24 public parks in the four zones of the Corporation, very few are properly maintained. In recent years, the Corporation had made sizeable investments to give a facelift to some of parks such as the Ibrahim Park on the West Boulevard Road, Lourdusamy Park on the East Boulevard Road and the Parangiri Velusamy Park near Cantonment.

But in most cases, lack of proper maintenance renders the investment a wasteful expenditure. The P.T.Rajan Park at Woraiyur is a classic case in point. Some years back, the Corporation had invested heavily on developing the park with landscaping and amusement enclosures. A children's amusement enclosure, named ‘Vanna Kalanchiam,' was established at a cost of Rs.3.75 lakhs.

The park turned out to be a huge draw among the city residents after the landscaping and the establishment of amusement enclosure at the park. But today, the park lies in complete neglect with all the amusement equipment being badly damaged and worn out.

The entire children's amusement game zone, including ‘ball pits' and slides and other equipment, have been completely damaged. Broken iron rails and rusted steel edges pose a threat to the few visiting children. Non-functional lights and mucky recycled water of the decorative fountain inside the park make them an eyesore. An overpowering stench pervades the play zone as a toilet is located nearby. The Corporation, which had been realising substantial revenue through entry fee until a few years back, had stopped collecting the entry fee now. T

hough it had planned to rope in sponsors to take over the maintenance of some of the parks, the move was given up subsequently.

The park has now become the refuge for anti-social elements. In the absence of compound walls, anti-socials easily jump over the fences, rues a local resident. Worse still, rowdy elements harass the few unwary visitors. “They follow and harass young girls visiting the park. There is no security for the visitors,” says a security guard of a nearby institution.

The Corporation had announced in its Budget this year that the P.T.Rajan and Chinnasamy Park in K.K.Nagar would be renovated.

The Corporation has spent about Rs.37 lakhs for improving amenities at the Ibrahim Park and the Lourdusamy Park.

But for the greenery, the children's play area in the parks needs improvement, feel local residents. The ‘slides” in the Ibrahim Park is also damaged and is dangerous for children.

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