VIJAYAWADA: As the citizens of Vijayawada struggle to find parks to spend quality time with family and friends, VMC’s PPP model to develop parks calls for more awareness. At present, there are 118 parks in Vijayawada. While entry into 115 parks is free, Raghavaiah Park, KR Park and Rajiv Gandhi Park collect fees.
While almost everybody has recognised the need for parks in the city, poor financial position of the Corporation is a major bottleneck for establishing them. VMC has come up with PPP model to develop parks, but the initiative has failed to take off for various reasons. Just one park has come into existence at Ramachandranagar so far. While two more applications have been received, 10 have been received for maintenance of the existing ones.
“While six applications have been approved for maintenance of parks, VMC has kept the others pending for the time being. Though there is a need for more parks in the city, funds crunch in the corporation is hindering the process. Therefore, we have come up with PPP mode to develop more parks,” said Subba Rao, incharge of VMC Horticulture Department.
Though VMC’s PPP model is welcomed by many, the lack of awareness about it is a major problem. “Though the model is welcomed by people, we have found that many do not know about it. Therefore, we are planning to contact colony associations and explain to them about the model,” Subba Rao added.
“There are a few good public parks in the city and we find many large patches without a single park. Most of the parks are in deplorable condition with no steps being taken to rectify the situation. In this situation, the PPP model is welcome step. But the officials should create awareness about it” opined APPCB environmental scientist, B Nagi Reddy.
With Vijayawada becoming capital, real estate boom has consumed whatever space that is left, leaving none for parks. “The welfare associations and the public should come forward to promote development and maintenance of parks in the city,” said T Sri Kumar, another environmentalist from the city.