CHENNAI: The Greater Chennai Corporation is set to transform 50 parks in the city into 'sponge parks' that can store rainwater run-off. It also plans to develop new parks.
According to senior corporation officials, zonal officials have been asked to help identify parks that can be converted into sponge parks so every zone has at least two such parks.
These parks will have harvesting structures to store run-off during rains, and a percolation system to naturally filter water before it goes into the ground. "We are coordinating with zonal officials and architects to finalise the design and prepare estimates," said a corporation official.
Sponge parks are already being used as a part of flood defences in other parts of the world, including in Manchester, England. The idea is for these parks to act as a sponge in flood-prone areas - to slow down the release of run-off into neighbouring stormwater drains and limit the run-off gradually, while also facilitating percolation.
Alongside these sponge parks, the civic body is set to build 100 new parks and 50 playfields. As part of 'Singara Chennai 2.0', zonal officials will identify OSR land that can be developed and turned into parks. The project is to be taken up at an estimated cost of Rs 50 crore.
"The OSR land details are still coming in from zones. Once this is done, we will finalise which spots can be developed into parks or playfields, depending on the local need. This is part of the corporation’s effort to reclaim and develop OSR land and maintain a centralised record of its availability," said a corporation official.
The distribution of these new parks will be based on the local availability of OSR land. In some zones, like Royapuram and Teynampet, the availability of OSR land is limited, while in others, there are multiple spaces that can be transformed, said officials.
The civic body recently proposed to make OSR land details available on its website.