HYDERABAD: For all those, who constantly crib about the lack of vital lung spaces to breathe in the twin cities, GHMC has turned bearer of good news, announcing a plan to begin 171 new parks by April-end.
A lion’s share of these parks, most of them built on vast open spaces, will be set up in the peripheral regions of the city such as LB Nagar, Kukatpally, Miyapur, Kapra among others, which are a hotbed of high level of dust and air pollution.
Confirming the move, P Anuradha, Additional Commissioner, Parks, GHMC, said that already 131 of the planned parks had been completed, and another 40 would soon be ready by April. “We are setting up parks for now and will develop more parks later in June. Avenue trees will be set up during monsoons and towards end of the year, as is the norm. It’s not feasible to plant trees during summer”, she said. Welcoming the GHMC’s move, OM Debara, civil society activist and general secretary of Forum for a Better Hyderabad, said that the parks would serve as an ideal recreational space for the city’s suburban residents, but also added, that there was a need to develop more parks within the heart of the city. “Areas like Banjara Hills and Jubilee Hills which were once very green, are now facing problems of depleting greenery. Residents are shifting elsewhere. Parks need to be developed here too, for the sake of the urban population.”
He further added, “It's good though, that GHMC has identified and is converting open spaces into parks, especially in suburban areas. Else for sure, those lands would have been encroached by now.”
B Raju, an activist and resident of LB Nagar though was more pessimistic about the whole initiative. “Parks were promised last year too before summer set in. Only if the promises materialise, will they serve any purpose.”
But a more serious problem of maintenance is what bothers residents; what with water; especially groundwater set to dry up in the next few weeks.
Debara, however, felt that water would easily be available, if the corporation limited supply and prevented large scale use of water by the four golf grounds in the city. “The water available should be used for the good of the general public, not for luxury recreational activities, especially when water crisis is looming large.”
Anuradha on her part has assured that water resources or for that matter the general maintenance of the parks will not be a problem, since the GHMC plans to hire tankers for the same. “We will also schedule the watering to take place either late night or early morning,” she added.