Parks to house open-air gyms

Amusement parks in the city are set to get open-air fitness centres if the development authority has its way.

By Bibhuti Barik in Bhubaneshwar
  • Published 19.08.15
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Youths exercise at Indira Gandhi park near Lower PMG Square in Bhubaneswar on Tuesday. Picture by Ashwinee Pati

Bhubaneswar, Aug. 18: Amusement parks in the city are set to get open-air fitness centres if the development authority has its way.

The Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) is planning to open gymnasiums in 10 parks at a cost of around Rs 1 crore and the horticulture wing of the authority will implement them.

Buddha Jayanti Park at Niladri Vihar will get the first centre. It is likely to open on BDA Day on September 1. Facilities in other nearby parks will be developed after analysing the feedback from the users and watching their behaviour. Forest park or Biju Patnaik Park at Unit-VI, Madhusudan park in Pokhariput and Indira Gandhi park are likely to have such fitness units shortly.

The open air gymnasiums will have basic equipment such as fitness bikes, air walkers, sit-up benches, double-back stretcher, waist and shoulder twisters, chest press, leg raise, leg stretcher and leg press and many more.

The development authority will be the first agency in the city to develop outdoor fitness equipment corners.

Chief horticulturist of the authority Ashok N. Dhar told The Telegraph: "We have developed an indoor gym near the parking area of Indira Gandhi Park and are likely to develop two more in other parks, but the outdoor fitness centres will attract people from all age groups as different types of equipment will be there to choose from."

"Each park will have equipment worth around Rs 10 lakh. After observing how things work out at Buddha Jayanti Park, steps will be taken to implement it at other amusement parks," he said.

"It has to be done following proper planning. We just can't take random decisions. For example, the kind of equipment we will install at Niladri Vihar will be meant for people aged between 17 and 25 years, but we can't do the same at BJB Nagar as the maximum population here are elderly and retired people," Dhar said.

BDA vice-chairman Krishan Kumar, who is also a physician, said: "Stress levels have gone up even in a city such as Bhubaneswar and people need to loosen up. These open air gymnasiums will hep people exercise by staying close to the nature and will also instigate more to take up physical exercises."

To keep the citizens fit, the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation is also going to develop community-centre-cum-fitness units across the city. The first one will come up at ward No. 12 at Gadakana. The corporation will spend Rs 20 lakh on it. The proposed centre will be constructed on a plot measuring 0.244 acres.

A senior horticultural wing official at BDA said: "On the foundation day, a new park is likely to be opened at Gayatri Vihar near Infocity. There would also be other projects as well to be launched to strengthen the citizen-centric approach."

Environmentalist and senior citizen S.N. Patro said: "Already the Centre has done the planning for the green space development through the Amrut mission. The civic authorities should try their best to focus on parks with green space and infrastructure."