| Garbage dumped at an open space in Brit Colony. Picture by Sanjib Mukherjee |
Bhubaneswar, June 24: Fifteen years after proposing to convert three open spaces at Nayapalli Brit Colony into mini-parks, the development authorities have finally decided to act.
The open spaces, where mini-parks are supposed to come up with facilities such as a lawn, a walking track and sitting arrangements, have been turned into dumping grounds by local residents.
“There were four open spaces at Nayapalli Brit Colony. While local residents, in collaboration with the civic authority, developed a colony park at one place, three others have been wallowing in neglect for about 15 years. Over time, these have turned into garbage dumping sites. After receiving a number of complaints from local residents, we have now decided to convert them into small green patches with minimal investment. The three green patches will cost us only Rs 17 lakh,’’said chief horticulturist of the Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) Ashok N. Dhar.
However, Dhar clarified that as all the three open spaces measured less than half acre each, there was no chance of turning them into full-fledged parks.
“A full-fledged park needs a bore-well, a pumping unit, lights, security system, landscaping and monthly expenses to operate them. But as the space available is too small here, it is not possible to develop full-fledged parks in these areas. But, we want to create mini-parks there which will be well-protected with boundary walls and will also have some basic infrastructure,” he added.
While local MLA Bijay Mohanty laid the foundation stone for the mini-park projects on the day of rath yatra, ward No. 26 councillor Sanju Balabantray said work for the project would start at the earliest.
Healthcare activist Dillip Patnaik, who has been residing at the Nayapalli Brit Colony for a decade, said: “The renovation plan of the open spaces is a welcome step. These had turned into dumping grounds and were polluting the surroundings. The civic body should also pay immediate attention to the poor sanitation conditions of this ward.’’
In another development, the municipal council of the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to invest up to 90 per cent of the project cost of various colony parks to create a green cover across the capital city. Earlier, the BMC used to invest 75 per cent of the project cost of colony parks, while various respective resident welfare association used to spend the remaining 25 per cent.
However, in places such as government colonies, the civic body will foot the entire project cost as the inhabitants change there frequently according to the occupancy and transfer of the persons allotted to certain quarters. This year, the BMC has also decided to develop parks in slum areas at its own cost.