Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao is scheduled to dedicate the renovated Mahatma Gandhi Park on MG Road, Secunderabad, to the nation, on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti, the 153rd birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi on Sunday.
The park has been developed by GHMC. As part of the project, a compound wall has been built around the historical park near the Gandhi Statue with designed grill. The compound wall has been cladded with clay tiles, with kerb of granite. Granite footpath has been built, and clay bricks have been laid around the statue’s pedestal.
A gazebo with platform has been built in addition. The park has been renovated with an expenditure of ₹1.39 crore, with engineering works alone costing ₹66 lakh, and utility shifting another ₹44 lakh. Landscaping was developed with an expenditure of ₹14 lakh while ₹19 lakh was spent on decorative lighting.
Though initially envisaged as a beautification effort with recreational component, the project has been scaled down to a great deal owing to logistical reasons.
According to sources, the initial idea of the James Street Beautification project was to replace the existing statue of Mahatma Gandhi with a new one, besides providing paved pathways, innovative design elements, security cabin, a library, entrance plaza, toilets, seating arrangements, foodcourts, and others.
There were opposing voices from Congress party and others against replacing the present statue, as it was deemed to violate the sanctity of the original park inaugurated by the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in 1951.
Instead, the statue is now installed inside the Gandhi Hospital, Musheerabad, which also will be unveiled by the Chief Minister on the same day.
The five-tonne bronze statue of 16 feet height with Mahatma Gandhi in a meditative posture, has been sponsored by HMDA. It has been sculpted by Ram Sutar Fine Arts at a cost of ₹1.25 crore.
It has been installed on an island area of 200 square metres surrounded by landscaping, stepped planter walls, lighting, civil works, pathway, fencing and footpath which have been developed at a cost of ₹1 crore, a statement from HMDA informed.
Minister Talasani Srinivas Yadav, along with GHMC Commissioner D.S.Lokesh Kumar, visited both locations on Saturday and inspected the arrangements.