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Sishu Vihar to get new look

Bhubaneswar, Dec. 20: The Bhubaneswar Development Authority will take over Sishu Vihar, the poorly maintained children’s park at Unit-II, from the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation, for renovation.

Owned by the corporation, the park was inaugurated on Children’s Day in 1984. Surrounded by two schools and one cultural centre, it now resembles a forest-like landscape, caused mainly because of lack of maintenance.

The Telegraph had published a report on the plight of the park on February 22. Following the report, the municipal commissioner took up the matter with the development authority. Then horticulture division of the development body decided to renovate the park.

“This is the second park the development authority has decided to take up for renovation at ward No. 44. Earlier, officials of the development body had decided to take up renovation of the Khandia park. Both the parks, wallowing in neglect, have turned into a veritable den of criminals,” said councillor of ward No. 44 Lala Ashok Kumar Ray.

Horticulturist of the development body Ashok N. Dhar said: “Work has started for Khandia park. The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation will construct a boundary wall for the three-acre park and after that the Bhubaneswar Development Authority will start its renovation. Proper lighting arrangements will be installed on the premises of Khandia park, so that citizens can enjoy their evenings in the park.”

The development authority is working on a comprehensive development plan for parks. The plan will decide the location, type, facilities and utility services to be included.

The housing and urban development department has decided to have a plan for the city as well.

“Bhubaneswar will be the only city in the country to have a comprehensive development plan for its parks,” Dhar said adding, “the work has already started to create a database regarding the parks”.

The plan will include water gardens, several palm varieties and tropical gardens.

“Plants in the city are changing from sub-tropical to tropical types owing to climate change. We are eyeing tropical plant varieties to form special gardens in the city,” said an official.

Ray said: “The park should have a statue of Basant Biswal, who established it. The man did many things in urban development sector. Authorities, too, should establish his statue putting all political alignment at bay.”

“On behalf of the local residents welfare association, we will submit a memorandum to the state government through the development authority to establish Biswal’s statue at the centre of the park,” he said.

There are more than 50 parks in the city, but less than 10 of these have children’s play area.

Biju Patnaik Park (which was earlier known as Forest park) attracts many kids because it has a bigger play area. However, during holidays and weekends, the space becomes grossly inadequate to accommodate the kids there.