There will soon be a unique addition to the 340-odd parks and gardens in the city.
Mahanagar Peace Park, developed by the Hooghly River Bridge Commissioners (HRBC) to the south-west of Victoria Memorial, is the first of its kind in the city to have a rainwater harvesting system.
The system, set up with free technical support from Eureka Forbes Institute of Environment, will enable the park to send back to the earth much more water than it will need to draw for landscaping.
“We have spent around Rs 2 crore to develop the park. It’s ready and will be inaugurated once the state transport department’s approval comes,” said S.R. Banerjee, vice-chairman, HRBC.
“Eight borewells will be used for rainwater harvesting, each with a capacity to absorb 6,000-8,000 litres of water per hour,” explained Ajit Gokhle, who is overseeing the project.
“Once the system is operational, the problem of fast depletion of groundwater around the Memorial will be solved, as the park will recharge ground water 15 times more than it will draw. Spread over 2.84 acres, the park will receive an average of 150,000 cu m of rainwater per year. Its annual requirement will be 10,000 cu m,” Gokhle added.
The park will have other features as well to draw the crowds. “There will be a grand sequencing fountain that will go up to 40 ft and a jumping jet fountain through which one can walk without getting drenched. No other park in the country has such fountains,” said an expert.