Bhubaneswar: Despite Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) best efforts the construction of parks in the city is moving at a snail’s pace with the civic authority failing to erect its targeted number of parks each year.
Developed under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) the BMC had planned to deliver about 10 to 12 parks each year from 2015-16. Since then, construction of only 17 parks has been completed while 19 are still underway.
With a total cost of Rs.7.91 crores the city was expected to have about 40 parks in the city. However, constant dilly-dallying has resulted in postponing of the construction of parks to next year. While four new parks were recently introduced to the city, but the parks were, however, supposed to be completed in 2016-17.
Citing acquisition of land as one of the reasons for the delays, Srimanta Mishra, BMC Deputy Commissioner said, “Land is an emotional asset to many people. It takes lot convincing and court orders for people to give up their lands so that these amenities could be made.”
Construction of parks near Kalpana flat area, Nayapalli Brit Colony, Baramunda, Aiginia and IRC village N-4 was supposed to be completed in 2016-17 but are still under progress. Similarly, 15 parks in areas such as Santosh Vihar, Laxmisagar, E.A. Colony at Badagada, B.D.A. colony at Pokhariput, Sailashree Vihar and others were supposed to be over by 2017-18 but have dragged to present year.
Meanwhile, residential societies have complained of BMC’s lackadaisical approach towards the parks for the delays. “Authorities take their own sweet time and disregard people’s need. We convinced residents in our locality to give their lands to BMC as we were in need of a park for the children and the elderly. Despite that construction of parks in our area is yet to see the light of the day,” complained Sabyasachi Panda a member of a residential society at Census Colony Park.
Stressing the need to open more parks for the smart city environmentalist Pradeep Jena said that apart from providing intrinsic environmental and recreation benefits, it also enhances property values, increase municipal revenue and attract retirees. “Not only speeding up, the BMC must widen its gamut and construct more parks especially when it’s competing with top smart cities in country.”
Responding to this Srimanta said, “We do understand the importance of parks in urban localities. Thus construction of these parks is of utmost importance to us. While we have completed 17 of these we are ensuring that rest is completed in the stipulated time.”