KOCHI: The Children’s Science Park at Kalamassery, founded in 2015, has little ‘science’ in it. Reason: Scientific equipment like the Humidity Meter, Sine Wave, Rain Gauge, Floating Bird, Angular Momentum and Gyroscope no longer function. Today, the park is nothing but a space visited by those seeking a break from the hectic city life.
“When it opened, the park was replete with all equipment needed to explain certain scientific concepts. However, the visitors mishandled the exhibits and damaged many of them,” said Rameswaran Pillai, caretaker. According to him, the park presents a sorry sight. “There is nobody to ensure strict norms regarding the handling of equipment. So, everyone has a free run in the place. All I can do is caution them. But once we leave, the miscreants go back to destroying things,” said Pillai.
Roshini Roy, who is a regular visitor to the park, said, “Once the Kalamassery municipality enforces fines or penalties, people will think twice before tampering with the exhibits.” According to her, another issue is the absence of guards after 7pm. “The park remains open from 4pm to 9pm. However, after 7pm, the guards leave since their duty gets over by then. So from 7 pm to 9 pm, there is no one to keep watch,” she said. Hence, the park has turned a haven for anti-social elements, she alleged.
However, Rukhiya Jamal, chairperson, Kalamassery municipality, says the park is a hit. “On average, the park gets around 1,000 visitors everyday. This goes even higher during holidays,” she said. As to repairing the damaged equipment, she said, “We need funds to repair or replace the instruments. It is tough to find such funds as visitors keep damaging the equipment.”
According to Ramkumar, overseer, Kalamassery Municipality, the musical water fountain, pathways and gardens draw a huge crowd. “They are being maintained by the officials deputed for the same. The municipality will come up with proposals to regain the lost ambience. However, something concrete can be said only after the proposals get the approval of the council,” he added.
‘Science on Sphere’
A new project ‘Science on Sphere’ has been proposed by the municipality. The project aims to restyle the science park and increase public interest. Rukhiya Jamal, chairperson, Kalamassery municipality said a sum of `1.5 crore has been allotted for the implementation of this project from BPCL’s CSR fund and the MP fund. “It will take nearly one year for the completion of the project,” said Rukhiya Jamal. “We hope this project will help recover all the loses the park had to suffer over the years,” she said.