Kochi Corporation, GCDA want to rebuild parks, but clarity missing

GCDA plans to renovate 9 parks | Designs to be prepared in 2 months
Kochi Corporation building (File photo| EPS)
Kochi Corporation building (File photo| EPS)

KOCHI: The Kochi Corporation and the Greater Cochin Development Authority (GCDA) want to renovate the public parks in the city under their jurisdiction, but clarity is still missing on who will execute the project.GCDA plans to renovate nine parks. “We plan to execute the project in association with the Cochin Smart Mission Ltd (CSML). We’re in the process of empanelling architects. The designs will be prepared within two months. We intend to complete the work by the end of this financial year,” said an official with GCDA’s town planning department.

“Panampilly Nagar and Gandhinagar have four parks each, and West Kadavanthra has one. The project’s estimate is around Rs 2 crore,” said the officer. Meanwhile, the corporation councillors are discussing whether to assign Kochi Metro Rail Ltd (KMRL) --- which had submitted a proposal --- or CSML, which has undertaken a majority of the corporation’s projects.

“The councillors have opposed the decision to assign park renovation to KMRL. The company has no fund to execute the work whereas the CSML is a perfect choice. CSML has undertaken several beautification projects under the corporation limit,” said Public Works Standing Committee chairperson Sunitha Dixon.
“I opposed the move to give an annual maintenance contract (AMC) to Kochi Metro for park renovation projects in the city,” she said.

“The Kochi mayor has informed that the maintenance work of the park under its limit will be given to KMRL and the AMC ownership will be under Kochi corporation,” said a source. CSML officials said that, as of now, it has undertaken the renovation work of two GCDA parks --- Rajendra Maidanam and Changampuzha Park (tendering and execution only). “Earlier, we had proposed to undertake other projects, but only these two were approved and work is ongoing,” said a CSML official.

Despite completing the renovation of Kunnara Park near Vyttila Hub a year ago, the KMRL is yet to open it to the public. “The work was completed a year ago. Yet, the agency has not opened it to the public,” said councillor Sunitha Dixon. KMRL officials said the maintenance agreement of the Streetscape walkway at Panampilly Nagar is yet to be signed by the corporation. “A tripartite agreement between the Kochi corporation, GCDA and KMRL has been proposed. The corporation is yet to sign the proposal,” said an official.

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