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Friday, 1.07.2022
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Bhubaneswar has over the years emerged as a city of parks with 77 colony (neighbourhood) parks and 64 big parks contributing to the green cover.

To further boost this, the Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) has evolved the Parks and Open Space Policy 2022-2040, an ambitious master plan that will see every ward getting parks and space for children to play. This will help areas which still don’t have parks and open space for kids.

“We have identified around 100 more open spaces, where work will gradually start to turn them into neighbourhood parks and playing grounds,” said Sanjay Kumar Singh, BMC commissioner and BDA vice-chairman.

BDA chief horticulturist N Dhar said six years ago, the city had around 60 parks. “Now we have 141 parks managed by the BMC and BDA. Work on five more parks is under way. We have planted shrubs and plants in a scientific way so that the green canopy is not affected much during a storm as the city is cyclone-prone,” Dhar said.

The green cover also gets a major boost from Chandaka Wildlife Sanctuary on the outskirts of the city and the adjoining Nandankanan zoo. Chandaka is unique because there is no sanctuary within 10 km from the centre of the city anywhere else in the country.

“Despite modernisation, the green canopy over the years has made it an excellently liveable city. Here, the big parks are not just hangout zones but hubs for fitness enthusiasts as open gyms provide them a platform to stay healthy. We have open gyms in almost all the parks. We are going to create more breathing space for the residents in the future. Our priority is to increase the green cover,” said the BMC commissioner.

The fitness centres in the parks are different from conventional gyms as they have different equipment for elderly, children and youths. In regular gyms, equipment is mostly suitable for youngsters.

Officials said the new sites for the parks have been selected considering the demands of locals. There are some localities, where there are no parks within a 500-metre radius. City-based urban planner Piyush Rout said the parks should have more shrub-type plants and shed-bearing trees.

“They can help absorb the heat radiated by concrete structures. Despite having impressive greenery now after cyclone Fani, the city is yet to meet the World Health Organization’s (WHO) standard of 12 square metres green space for each person. The new parks as well as the massive green drive taken up by the government are expected to increase the greenery,” he said.

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Autor(en)/Author(s): Riyan Ramanath V

Quelle/Source: The Times of India, 13.04.2022

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