Three-year wait to end as Sivaganga Park redevelopment work to complete in four months

Corporation Mayor S Ramanathan on Wednesday said that Sivaganga Park redevelopment works under the Smart Cities Mission programme would be completed in around four months.

Published: 24th March 2022 10:03 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th March 2022 10:03 AM   |  A+A-

Work under way at the Sivaganga Park in Thanjavur on Wednesday | Express

Express News Service

THANJAVUR: Putting an end to what seemed like an endless wait for the Sivaganga Park here to reopen, Corporation Mayor S Ramanathan on Wednesday said that its redevelopment works under the Smart Cities Mission programme would be completed in around four months, following which it would be thrown open to the public.

The garden located adjacent to the 11th century UNESCO monument of Big Temple was closed for the general public from April 1, 2019 towards redevelopment works at a cost of Rs 8.22 crore under the Smart Cities Mission. The renovation of the garden, which sprawls over 18.38 acres and was developed as a people’s park in

1871-72 by the municipality Corporation, was scheduled to be completed in 18 months. However, even after the passing of 36 months since its closure there has been no major progress in renovation works.

Only the demolition of old structures has been undertaken so far. On Wednesday, too, only a handful of people were seen constructing a near ground level brick structure in the centre of the park.

Official sources pointed the delay to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), which had suggested changes in the redevelopment plan. Besides restricting the height of the structures that were to come up, the ASI had also suggested other changes as the garden falls under the regulated area as governed by the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act.

Following this some components of the original plan, including a children’s train, a winch car that carries visitors to a small temple in the centre of Sivaganga tank, water slides, and a swimming pool, were dropped. The project cost has also been revised downward to Rs 5.8 crore from Rs 8.22 crore.

The footpath, seating arrangements, replanting of trees and grass, and lighting arrangements are to be taken up. Play equipment for children and the toilet block are also to be focused on. Mayor Ramanathan, who inspected the garden on Wednesday, said that after incorporating the changes in the plan as advised by the ASI, work has already commenced.

“The Sivaganga garden has been the only public spot for leisure and play area for children in the city, particularly those living in the erstwhile fortified settlement. Residents in the city, especially during summer, gather there. We want it to reopen for the public at the earliest,” said C Bharathi, a resident.


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