Kozhikode has it all when it comes to hang out points; a sandy blue beach, an open space called Mananchira Square right in the heart of the sprawling city and malls for the new generation. What is missing is a park! The Lions Park, which has been a landmark of the city for more than a decade, is in a deplorable state and is all set to receive a facelift. The park was inaugurated by former Health Minister A C Shanmughadas in 1991. Since then it has been an integral part of Kozhikode. Parents who take their kids to the beach on weekends never fail to visit the park. An entire generation grew up basking under the setting sun and salty breeze that filled the ‘play station’ of yesteryear. The park soon turned into a hangout point for antisocial elements as well. With time its quality plunged, the seesaws broke, the swings fell off and the slides lost their sheen and the water fountains stopped working. The park has been lying abandoned for years. Now the Lions Club has decided to take the initiative to renovate the park. Kumar Das K P, president, Lions Club Kozhikode, says, “This was my signature project when I took charge as the president of the club. One of the major problems the park faced earlier was the activities of antisocial elements and locals who got into the habit of using the park equipment meant for children below 12 years, and destroying them.” “We hope we might not have to face this issue in the future. The club has already approached contractors to reinstall everything. Two large merry-go-rounds, one climbing frame and six swings will be reinstalled. We have approached the firm that constructed the two slides earlier, one with the inverted fish and the other with a rocket. We are waiting for their response. The fountains too will be repaired. The city will get a completely renovated park in two months.” he says. Pradeep Nair, who stays near the Medical College, visits the park with his family often. “It is high time the city got a good quality park. All we have here is a beach and the Mananchira Square,” he says.
‘Blooming Calicut’ Adds More Greenery
Since the city is fast getting crammed with apartments and buildings, lack of open space is posing a major threat to the health of children and youths. Considering the current growth of the city, there is hardly any place for recreation, such as parks and playgrounds. The Corporation has four major public places within the city limits - Mananchira Square, Sarovaram Bio-park, Lions Park and the beach. With the hope of adding greenery to the city, the Corporation has started the ‘Blooming Calicut’ project. As part of the project, the Kelappan Park at Nadakkavu was renovated. The Corporation has also taken steps to beautify the Garudan Park at West Hill and the S K Pottekkatt Park at Puthiyara