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Earn here, spend there
Beauty booty for city parks

Bhubaneswar, April 26: Residents of the capital can hope to get more and better-maintained parks in their respective localities as the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation has decided to increase its contribution to this green cause.

At yesterday’s council meeting, the corporation decided to increase its share in the construction of neighbourhood parks from 75 per cent of the total project cost to 90 per cent. The rest will be contributed by the resident welfare associations of respective localities. Earlier, the ratio was 75:25.

However, in places such as government colonies, the civic body will foot the entire project bill as the residents in such areas keep changing because of transfers. This year, the BMC has decided to build parks even in slum areas where the cost of building such public utilities will be entirely borne by it.

On the maintenance front, the civic body has decided that the parks that have not hitherto been maintained by respective regional resident welfare associations, will now be maintained by the civic body for five years through a tender process.

All the new parks — undertaken by the BMC or in the pubic-private-partnership mode with the local welfare associations — will now be maintained by the BMC through a five-year contract so that these are no longer neglected. Councillors yesterday welcomed the corporation’s move of urban beautification through construction and maintenance of parks.

“The beautification projects will yield results only when the city’s parks are better maintained. At my ward in Rental Colony, a park was constructed in 2008 with the help of the local resident welfare association, but as the local association later ran short of funds for its maintenance, the park is now lying in tatters. But, with the new move of the civic body, such parks can now be renovated. On the other hand, as it is a government colony, the BMC can also add to the landscaping and beautification,’’ said Samir Kumar Pradhan, councillor of ward No. 10.

Sources in the corporation said they had not developed or renovated any park in the last fiscal. But this year, they plan to speed up urban beautification project through building and renovating parks.

There are some 22 parks that were built by the BMC in collaboration with various resident welfare associations. Five such parks are located at Sailashree Vihar alone. While there are three parks each at VSS Nagar and Baramunda respectively, Chandrasekharpur, Rental Colony, IRC Village, Unit-IX, Satya Nagar, Bhakta Madhu Nagar, Jharpada, BMC Office, Samantarapur, Town Club Ground, Old Town and Bhimatangi Phase-I has one park each.

Two big parks of the BMC — Children’s Park of Unit-II and Khandia Park of Unit-III — will now be handed over to the Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) as big parks are generally maintained by the development authority.

The BDA has also got a separate horticulture wing to plan, develop and maintain big parks. However, before handing over the property, the BMC will construct boundary walls for both the parks.

Municipal commissioner Vishal Kumar Dev told The Telegraph: “We are going to add more parks to the city. On the other hand, the responsibility of maintenance is also included as it is very vital for retaining the beauty of the developed parks. From the past beautification drives, we have learnt that without proper maintenance, there is no meaning to beautification. This will not be repeated in the new parks.’’

“Areas not linked to resident welfare associations will also be taken into consideration for development as parks,’’ he said.