The people living in the neighbourhood dropped in at the two parks to check out the retrofitted green spaces and were thrilled at the amenities added to their hangout spots.
Fifty-eight-year-old Kavitha R, a homemaker, has been driving her two-wheeler every evening from Kodambakkam to Natesan Park in T-Nagar for her workout.
“Many years ago, I lived in T-Nagar and frequented this park. Even after I moved out of the locality, I keep coming here. After the renovation, the Natesan park looks great. My favourite feature is the little green hillock. This is a great place to relax,” she said.
Under the Smart City initiative, eight parks in T-Nagar were chosen for a redesign. Natesan Park and Jeeva Park on Venkat Narayana Road have been renovated at a cost of Rs 5.21 crore.
“70% of the area of the parks is for green cover while the remaining space is for other activities. Sprinkler irrigation will be used to maintain the plants. The redesigned parks have accessible pathways, children’s play area, granite seats, landscaped areas, indigenous trees, pagodas to provide shade, solar-powered mobile chargers, open gym, pebble and stone path, artificial hillock, decorative lights, yoga centre, shuttle court and CCTV cameras,” said SP Velumani.
The parks also have a sewage treatment plant and the sludge will be used for the 50,000 plants.
“The Corporation has redesigned the Natesan park really well,” said Prasanna Sampath, a 35-year-old consultant, who hits the park every evening with his friends Suresh Babu and Santhanam (who comes all the way from Mylapore). In Jeeva Park, the snazzy badminton court with a grey sandy surface and the adjoining open gym -- with equipment ranging from elliptical cross trainer and shoulder press machines -- attracted the most number of residents.
50-year-old Lalitha, a retired government employee, said that she enjoys working out in the open, with the exercise area facing the Pillayar (Ganesha) shrine, which is located at the entrance, welcoming the visitors.
“The shrine, which has been here for decades, gives a sense of peace while I use the exercise machines. Earlier, there were a few machines but now, they have added more and it is so much better,” said the resident of Burkit Road.
THE SASSY NEW LOOK
- Chennai has 578 parks, 123 centre median greenery, 112 traffic island parks and 163 roadside parks. Out of this, only 42 parks are maintained by private parties
- Under AMRUT scheme, Rs 34.74 crore was allocated to renovated 51 parks between 2015-2018. While works in 27 parks are completed, works are underway at 24 parks
- In 2015-2018, 30 new parks were created at a cost of Rs 36.99 crore
- Under Smart City, eight parks in T-Nagar will be redesigned
- cost of Rs 22.72 crore
- Natesan Park and Jeeva Park on Venkat Narayana Road have been renovated at a cost of Rs 5.21 crore
- In the coming financial year, under the mega city scheme, 33 new parks will be formed at the cost of Rs 22.72 crore