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Teakwood park set up

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BEAUTIFUL: A play equipment in the park at Nagore.
BEAUTIFUL: A play equipment in the park at Nagore.

K. Subramanian

At a cost of Rs.50 lakh for tsunami-hit children at Nagore

Nagapattinam: A beautiful children's park has been set up in the tsunami-hit Silldadi area in Nagore in Nagapattinam district at a cost of Rs.50 lakh, thanks to the assistance of United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in partnership with the International City/County Managers Association (ICMA) in Florida in the United States of America through the `CityLinks' programme.

Nearly 500 volunteers, including schoolchildren and local people of Nagore took part in building the playground and completed with site park structures within five days.

The entire play materials in the park were made of high quality teakwood that attracts the children a lot.

The park was inaugurated by Tenkasi S. Jawahar, Nagapattinam Collector, last week.

A component of the park included a community playground built by the community through public-private partnership initiatives and help of community volunteers, materials and tools donated by the community with municipal support.

City managers and other urban professionals from Florida cities, which have been also affected by hurricanes, are sharing their experience in coping with these disasters with their counterparts in Tamil Nadu.

Under the "CityLinks" programme, urban professionals from the U.S. and India have had exchange visits to share knowledge and experience with government officials, private industries and NGOs in mitigating potential future disasters and helping to build stronger cities.

Teams from Florida have met their counterparts in Nagapattinam to identify priority issues and jointly prepare strategies for development. As a follow-up to the exchange visits, the `CityLinks' programme is providing technical assistance and targeted project assistance for improving financial management capacity of the urban local bodies, refurbishment of water and sanitation systems, improved construction techniques to mitigate damage from future floods and development of beachfront into manageable parklands with improvements.

As a preliminary step in Nagapattinam, a series of stakeholder meetings were held to integrate community needs of the playground designs.

Around 300 schoolchildren, community leaders and local officials participated in the `Design Day' and drew pictures of their ideal playground and designs were developed.

Rebecca Black, Director of the Economic Growth Office, USAID India, and Anand Rudra, Project Manager, `CityLinks' participated in the event in Nagapattinam along with the ICMA team.

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