Cities

Here’s what you need to know about volunteering at a park

Greater Chennai Corporation has listed certain features as essential to any park that is under its maintenance. Some of these features are: lawns, walkways, ornamental hedges, avenue palm trees, fountains, yoga and meditation centres, children play area with play equipment, a Lilly pond, benches, ramps for the differently-abled, water taps, toilets and a compound wall.

On an average, every park in all its 15 zones covering 200 wards has at least one borewell to water the plants at the facility. The number of borewells at a park depends on its total area. Saplings on the median are mostly maintained with recycled water that is sourced from Chennai Metrowater through its tanker lorries every day.

As per norms, parks are maintained only by respective local bodies including Corporation and municipalities. Residents’ associations can maintain public parks but the civic body will monitor such maintenance periodically.

Greater Chennai Corporation has been encouraging residents to get involved in the maintenance of Corporation-run parks in their neighbourhood.

If a member of the public or a residents’ association wants to volunteer in the upkeep of a Corporation park, they have to write a petition, explaining why they want to undertake this work. Other key details that are required include: the age of the volunteers, the total number of volunteers, the duration of the volunteering work and the preferable timing for such work to be carried out.

The petition should be on the Association’s letter head with signatures of residents in the locality. The petition should be addressed to Chief Engineer (CE), Parks, Play Fields and Quality Control, Greater Chennai Corporation, Ripon Buildings.

Such petitions can also be directed to the respective zonal offices of the Greater Chennai Corporation, and also to the respective ward engineer.

When residents make a request for such volunteering work in a park, they can’t expect a time frame within which they will be given an NOC to start the volunteering work. Generally, such requests by residents are routed through residents’ associations, and the civic body will give its nod in a few days.

Volunteers will be provided with safety kits including hand gloves, masks and grass cutters by the civic body. In certain parks, volunteers will be allowed to clean the pond, which includes removal of algae from the waterbody. However, the entire work will be closely monitored by the civic body to ensure safety of volunteers and also of the park. For example, residents volunteers cleaned the big pond in the Anna Nagar Tower Park last month under the supervision of civic officials.

No certificates or any other kind of recognition will be given to volunteers. Volunteers can however take pictures and videos of their volunteering work at the park.

For more details, call 044-25303281.

(Source: Greater Chennai Corporation)

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Printable version | Feb 28, 2020 6:40:20 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/how-can-you-volunteer-at-your-neighbouring-park/article26944472.ece

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