HYDERABAD: If the Sanathnagar municipal ward in the city has more than a hundred parks, Rangareddy Nagar in the Quthbullapur ward has hardly any park. The uneven distribution of parks in the city is not only affecting the quality of life of people but also throwing the ecosystem off balance.
A perusal of the data on the number of parks, especially tree parks and colony parks, in the five erstwhile zones of the GHMC, shows that the data is skewed. For instance, the central zone, comprising areas like Koti, Punjagutta, and Jubilee Hills, has 142.45 acres of space specified for parks but the IT corridor in the west zone has only 69.62 acres for the purpose. The areas with least green patches are LB Nagar, BN Reddy Nagar and Hayatnagar in the east zone where only 38.96 acres have been allocated for parks. This possibly explains why the air pollution problem does not get any better.
The figures highlight the fact that there are not enough parks in the city nor are they evenly distributed. GHMC officials attribute it to non-compliance with layout guidelines. “All layouts approved by the GHMC and HMDA should have a 10 per cent land alienation for parks.
And, the zones where the number of parks is less are which abound in illegal layouts or those not in accordance with the guidelines,” said D Hari Chandana, director, urban biodiversity forestry, GHMC. “The core area of the city, where Jalagam Vengal Rao Park and Indira Park are situated, constitutes the central zone where maintenance of parks has been being given importance for a long time,” she added.
Several erstwhile wards of gram panchayats which were merged with GHMC, such as Ramachandrapuram and Patancheru in the west zone, are also choking due to lack of lung space. Department officials claim that parks are steadily improving as new layouts are being formed but the fate of other areas where parks are scarce is unlikely to change. “To construct parks in an already approved layout requires us to buy land parcels. The costs would be high and it is unlikely that we buy exclusive land for construction of parks. But the new ones will have parks,” Hari Chandana said.