KOCHI: What is the purpose behind the National Renewable Energy Park and the renovation project at Indira Priyadarshini Children’s Park near the Marine Walkway on Shanmugham road? Youngsters have no clue, and the elders wonder: have any changes taken place here ever since the renovation project was started in January 2002! A reminder is a stone engraving at the entrance stating that then chief minister A K Antony laid the foundation stone for the project.
From the walkway, there is a sight of small buildings and lights as well as some receptors and a windmill — all in an abandoned shape and almost fully covered with creepers. The park, owned by the Child Welfare Society, was a dream project during former mayor C M Dinesh Mani’s tenure. However, the project did not receive enough funds further and its functioning was stuck.
Environmental activist Ranjith Thambi said that the park needs immediate intervention from the authorities. “The activities of the park came to a close soon after its launch. It is disheartening to see lots of money getting wasted on a project, that too in the heart of the city. It is not a children’s park now, but a snake park. The park has been locked for a long time. It is not functional and not being maintained. Why should we waste public resources like this?” he asked.
Ranjith, who is part of the Environment Monitoring Forum (EMF), added that the park had facilities functioning with solar and other renewable energy. “These are lying unattended there, along with toilets and other buildings. The authorities should find a solution to utilise this space and the concept in a better way,” he said.
GROUND GETS ATTENTION
Minister for Sports V Abdurahiman paid a visit to the Maharaja’s College ground on June 28 to evaluate the dilapidated ground and promised to revamp the ground soon, as per the request of Ernakulam Hockey Lovers. According to Sunil D Emmatty, former captain of the Kerala hockey team and a member of Ernakulam Hockey Lovers, the minister advised them to present a detailed revamping proposal for the ground. “We, along with MP Hibi Eden, have requested the minister to revamp the ground with astroturf making it suitable for hockey practice. We are planning to submit the proposal with the permission of the college authorities by the middle of July,” he said. TNIE last reported the plight of the dilapidated ground on June 24.
MINISTER TO STUDY THE PROJECT
Mayor M Anilkumar said the condition of the park was already notified to Public Works Minister and Tourism P A Mohamed Riyas, including the plight of the renewable energy park. “The tourism secretary has been directed to study the condition and a discussion will be held between the MLA and me,” he said.