Monday, Nov 24, 2003
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By T. Nandakumar
The Kumar Group, which had undertaken the Gandhi Park project, has been directed to submit a blueprint to give a facelift to the Putherikandam maidan. The Amayizhanjan canal, which flows along the periphery of the grounds on the northern side, is proposed to be covered with concrete slabs from the Power House end to Pazhavangadi. A row of bunk shops will be constructed on this surface to rehabilitate traders who are displaced for road development projects.
The entire grounds will be fenced and a walkway is to be constructed all along the boundary. Trees, flowering plants, lawns and a large number of trees will be planted inside the maidan. The Mayor, J. Chandra, said the project was aimed at converting the grounds into a green belt.
Corporation sources said the idea of covering the canal with concrete slabs would also help to eliminate the problem of garbage dumping which has been identified as the principal cause for choking the canal. The slabs would be provided with manholes at specific places to facilitate occasional dredging.
Work on the renovation of the Gandhi Park is drawing to a close after months of hectic activity. Construction teams are giving finishing touches to the concrete structures inside the park. Flowering plants have been added to lend a dash of colour to the lawns and the lights are being installed.
The park would be handed back to the Corporation without much fanfare. The project was executed by the Tourism Department. The Corporation council recently decided to add a small snack bar to the facilities inside the park.
Efforts are on to constitute an implementation committee to monitor the functioning of the park after it is returned to the local body. The committee, with the Corporation Secretary as convener, will have representatives of Government departments, social and cultural organisations and traders as members.
The committee will be responsible for maintaining the park using the revenue from parking fees, lamp-post advertisements and rent for organising functions. The committee will have a separate account, which will be subject to audit.
While the cleaning of the premises may be entrusted to Kudumbasree units, advertisement rights, security, collection of parking fee and maintenance of the lawns and garden will be tendered.
The Tourism Secretary, T. Balakrishnan, and the Mayor who visited the park last week directed the designers to enhance the lighting facilities to deter anti-social elements from venturing in after dark.
The Corporation also agreed to remove the obtrusive advertisements behind the statue of Mahatma Gandhi.
Simultaneously, the Public Works Department is working on a project to develop the roads around the Gandhi Park. The development of the road from Vettimurichukotta to Pazhavangadi will also be taken up.
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