Tiruchi Corporation plans to outsource maintenance of public parks

The Corporation park in Aruna Nagar at Srirangam in Tiruchi.   | Photo Credit: M. SRINATH

With the move to engage residents’ welfare associations in running and maintenance of public parks failing to evoke good response, Tiruchi Corporation has decided to outsource caretakers and gardeners for them.

Until 2017, the city had a limited number of parks. Ibrahim Park on West Boulevard Road, Gandhi Park in Srirangam, Parangiri Velupillai Park in Cantonment were among the few that served the people, particularly elders and children.

The city began to get its share of parks after Tiruchi was included in the Smart Cities Mission. Several parks were established between 201 and 2019 by tapping the financial resources under Smart Cities Mission. The Atal Mission for Urban Rehabilitation and Transformation (AMRUIT) also came in handy for setting up parks wherever required.

The sites, where were susceptible to encroachments by influential persons, were mainly used to set up the public parks.

Besides walking paths and positioning benches, many facilities were established. Some of the bigger recreational parks were provided with amphi-theaters and landscapes for screening documentaries and conducting stage shows.

According to data available with Tiruchi Corporation, the number of public parks has gone up to 136 from 24 in 2017.

Except for a few, most of them have been declared open to the public. But the irony is that the pandemic caused by the rapid spread of COVID-19 forced the authorities to keep the parks closed for many months in 2020 and 2021.

There was criticism that except for the parks in prominent places, others situated in interior parts of the city were kept out of bounds from the public mainly due to the absence of plans to maintain them.

It was alleged that the civic body, which spent a huge amount money on building the infrastructure, had failed to allot funds for maintaining the parks and to appoint caretakers.

The civic body then unveiled a plan to involve residents’ welfare associations or prominent business or industrial houses to operate and maintain the parks.

But it is learnt that the response has been lukewarm.

Issues such as footing the expenditure such as salary for caretakers, gardeners and watchmen prevented the associations from responding positively to the call of the Corporation.

P.M.N. Mujibur Rahuman, Commissioner, Tiruchi Corporation, told The Hindu that almost all parks were open to the public both in the evenings and mornings. Further, it had been decided not to wait for a response from the public bodies to operate and maintain the parks.

“It has been decided to appoint caretakers and gardeners to all parks through outsourcing. A tender has been called from the interested agencies to employ caretakers and gardeners. The issue will be resolved very soon,” he said.

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Printable version | Nov 30, 2021 5:46:07 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/tiruchi-corporation-plans-to-outsource-maintenance-of-public-parks/article36948018.ece

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