Smart parks get late, blame it on monsoon

You need to wait a bit longer to do your morning walks at "smart" parks and the development authorities have blamed the rains for it.

By OUR CORRESPONDENT in Bhubaneshwar
  • Published 14.07.17
Robot Park at Saheed Nagar in Bhubaneswar. 
Picture by Ashwinee Pati

Bhubaneswar, July 13: You need to wait a bit longer to do your morning walks at "smart" parks and the development authorities have blamed the rains for it.

Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA), along with Bhubaneswar Smart City Limited and Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation, had decided in April to develop three smart parks at Saheed Nagar.

They had planned to complete the work on at least one park by June and the rest by October. The authorities have missed the June deadline and given the slow pace of work, people living around these proposed parks say it would be difficult to complete the project even by October.

"We are excited that the city administration had chosen three parks in our area to develop. The parks are to be transformed into smart parks. We hope they will be able to complete the work on time," said Chinmay Pati, a resident of Acharya Vihar.

Pati said several workers had been engaged in transforming the parks in April and May, but they vanished in the succeeding months. "They dug up the walking tracks and made the parks unfit for use. The work here has made no progress in the past two months," said Pati.

Once completed, the three chosen parks at Saheed Nagar are supposed to have automatic toilets, automatic water dispensing machines, Wi-Fi, open gym, watch tower, butterfly park, sensory garden, basketball court, skating rink and splash parks among other things. The three chosen parks are BDA-OMC Park, Robot Park and Community Garden near Sparsh Hospital. Robot Park is the one that was supposed to be complete in June.

Mayor Ananta Narayan Jena said the work had been stopped because of the rains and would resume soon after the monsoon. "We will ask the contractors to resume the work as soon as the rain stops," said Jena.

A senior civic body official said they had worked overtime to complete the project, but the rain had forced them to stop work.

"We have been constantly monitoring the weather condition and will resume the work after the rain stops. The rains this time arrived before time and this made us halt work. This has delayed execution of the project," said the official.

However, residents are not ready to buy the explanation.

"Work at the parks stopped even before the rains arrived. The administration is only giving excuses. This is not done and they should have been prepared for the monsoon," said Saheed Nagar resident Pritam.