Cuttack: The Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) Wednesday threw open Saheed Park at Nuapatna here to the public after a year-long beautification and renovation works.
Cuttack MP Bhartruhari Mahtab inaugurated the park in presence of Choudwar-Cuttack MLA Pravat Ranjan Biswal and Mayor Meenakshee Behera.
Due to poor maintenance, the park went into disuse and lost its charm a few months after it was inaugurated in 2013
According to Ward-34 corporator Namita Manjari Sahoo, the civic body has spent Rs 38 lakh towards beautification and restoration of the park under Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (Amrut) scheme.
The park features a slew of new attractions with Fibre-Reinforced Plastic (FRP) made gazebos and rest benches apart from stone-clad walls being the exclusives. “Two gazebos with adequate lighting facilities have been put in place to ensure that at least seven-eight persons can sit comfortably at once. Visitors may sit at the gazebos and enjoy the peace and beauty of the park in monsoons,” Sahoo said.
About preferring FRP to regular cement-sand combination for building the facilities, junior engineer (JE) Pratap Samal, who is in-charge of the renovation works, said, “Being almost weatherproof and durable, FRP can endure exposure to extreme climate at the park. So we used the material in building the gazebos and rest benches as well.”
About the stone-clad walls, Samal said the specially designed walls would add to the swanky look of the park. “Once creepers begin crawling on the walls, it will amplify the beauty of the park,” the JE added.
Sources said statues of 13 martyrs including that of Mahatma Gandhi at the park has been polished and repaired, giving it a lively look. “The statues of Odia martyrs like that of Chakhi Khuntia, Laxman Nayak, Jayee Rajguru, Veer Surendra Sai, Raghunath Mohanty, Dibakar Parida and Baji Rout will help people recall the events and contribution of Odias to the freedom struggle,” a resident of Mangalabag said.
It is the only park in the city which has the statue of Mahatma Gandhi, Sahoo mentioned.
These apart, in order to inculcate healthy habits among people, especially youths, and lure them to the park, six varieties of gym equipment have been installed there. Moreover, the civic body has also ensured children-friendly components at the park. “Merry-go-rounds and sliders are some of the features which will definitely amuse the children,” Sahoo pointed out.
Sources said due to poor maintenance, the park went into disuse and lost its charm a few months after it was inaugurated in 2013. However, following demands from several quarters, the CMC decided for its restoration August 31, 2017.
Sahoo who is a Congress corporator, further said even as the civic body has claimed to have left no stone unturned towards revamping the park, it is yet to ensure the basics.
“Two defunct water fountains at the park are yet to be repaired. Surprisingly, the park is expected to witness a huge footfall in morning as well as evening. However, the authorities are yet to install a bio-toilet at the park,” Sahoo said, adding that the civic body must take note of the issues.