KOCHI: With less than two weeks remaining for the inauguration of Indira Priyadarshini Children’s Park, also known as Ernakulam Children’s Park, renovation work has not finished yet. As per the information provided by Kerala Electrical and Allied Engineering Co Ltd, works such as restoration of pond, construction of entrance gate and landscaping are still pending ahead of the inauguration scheduled for February 15. A number of visitors have expressed dissatisfaction with the fact that it has taken almost three years for the government to make a headway with regard to the project.
According to an official of the District Council for Child Welfare, the contractors have expedited works following instruction from authorities. “No extension has been allotted to KEL. They have also deployed more workers in completing the same,” the official said. The official dismissed complaints raised by parents regarding the safety of the rides installed at the park two years ago.
“No issues have been reported by the technicians after inspection. The rides near the energy park were installed around 20 years ago. They are currently in a dilapidated condition but will be repaired before inauguration,” he said. Despite the inauguration, the public will only be allowed entry into the park after the government nod.
Thomas C J, a previous visitor of the park, highlighted the improper maintenance carried out by the authorities which led to snakes having a free run inside the premises. “A snake was seen inside a merry-go-round three months before the renovation work began. Overgrown bushes near the pond made a safe hiding place for snakes. We also found damaged swings,” he said.
S Gopakumar, city-based architect and founder of Better Kochi Response Group said, “We had completed construction of energy park, pond, musical fountain, railway track and children’s rides within three months when Gyanesh Kumar was the district collector. The current renovation work should not have taken more than six months to be completed.”
Cost of renovation:
Pending works: Restoration of pond, construction of entrance gate, landscaping
Time taken: Two years and eight months