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Walkers wary, many city parks remain closed

Despite the Greater Chennai Corporation opening city parks for walkers, fear of contracting the virus had kept most of the walkers away from the parks for the first two days. Also, some parks in the city are yet to be opened as they await disinfection by the civic body.

Walkers wary, many city parks remain closed


RS Vijayakumar, president of Anna Park Walkers’ Association in Kodambakkam, said that the park in United India Colony is a well-maintained park and more than 500 walkers used to visit before the outbreak. “However, for the past two days, we saw only 20 to 30 people visiting. Also, no one went near the gym area,” he said.

Vijayakumar added that the civic body has mandated masks and social distancing inside the park apart from banning leisurely visitors. “The civic body also had cut down the opening duration of the park. We try to follow the instructions as the civic body would close the park if the walkers violate standard operating procedures,” he said.

Meanwhile, a Chennai Corporation senior official said that the security guards at the parks have been instructed to allow only five people inside the small parks simultaneously. As many as 20 to 50 persons would be allowed inside medium size parks and up to 100 persons would be allowed in bigger parks like Panagal Park, Natesan Park and others. There are as many as 632 parks in the city maintained by the civic body and 57 new parks are on the anvil.

“Tower Park in Anna Nagar is the largest park in the city and we will allow up to 200 persons at once inside the park,” he said.

Also, the civic body has requested private contractors, who are undertaking maintenance of the park, to install hand-washing facilities inside the parks. It may be noted that the civic body already handed over the maintenance of parks to private contractors.

“Some zonal officials have opened the parks based on the government order and standard operating procedures. However, some parks in the city are yet to be opened as some zonal officials await the completion of disinfection of the parks,” the official said.

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