Nehru Park: Swinging towards restoration
On April 25, G Plus highlighted the dilapidated condition of Nehru Park in Guwahati through pictures in its print and digital media. The impact was such that the authorities immediately took up the issue and have started renovation work.
Nehru Park, one of the major tourist attractions in the city, is currently in a dilapidated situation, with broken swings, torn slides and sawed-off see-saws. The park that once used to be thronged by children day in and day out has turned into a dating spot with barely any play rides in usable condition.
Located in the heart of Guwahati city, Nehru Park is one of the oldest parks in Assam. It is a major tourist attraction of the city as well as a place of recreation and walks for the citizens of the city.
Historically, the area of the park was part of an old church that was later developed as a park by the Assam government. Yet, the playing equipments for children are in ruins dissuading children from using them.
The park is currently managed by the Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) and maintained by Daffodils Nursery of Jagiroad.
G Plus highlighted the dilapidated condition of the park in a Facebook post dated April 25, Thursday. It also carried photographs showing the dilapidated condition is its print edition dated 27th April, 2019. In one of the pictures, a big hole is seen at one end of the slide which is supposed to be used by the children at the park. The second picture depicts the dysfunctional swings that have been tied up to their structure while the third image shows the poor condition of the see-saw that wears the look of not being used for a long time.
Not only did the post gain massive traction with people from all walks of life sharing their past experiences, it immediately gained the attention of the management which has started renovation work in the park.
The authorities have started renovation work of the park which includes fixing of lights, installation of new slides and swings and garden refurbishment. Additionally, the simulator which had been dysfunctional since a while is also under maintenance and is expected to be repaired soon.
“The restoration works started in April end and will probably end by May 10. Until then, we have shut down the rides that are broken keeping in mind the safety of the children,” informed a source at the GMDA.
City’s premier park losing its charm
The Nehru Park was built in the 2000s and named after the first Prime Minister of India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. The park is visited by hundreds of people every day since its inauguration by former chief minister of Assam Tarun Gogoi on June 12, 2004. However, visitors feel that the park has started to lose its charm.
“Feel sad for the dilapidated condition of this park where we spent our childhood. I took my child there a few months ago and it was a horrible experience. The equipments were damaged and there were a lot of mosquitoes. Everything was in a bad condition and it seemed totally unsafe for children. Don’t know what the authorities are doing. Development does not mean restrict to the construction of roads, maintenance of these places should also be taken care of,” Salma Rahman, a resident of Guwahati told G Plus.
In the same vein, another resident said, “Luckily someone has raised the issue and now I just hope the GMDA will invest in its renovation given the present condition of the park.”
While the entry to the park is free for morning walk (6 AM to 8 AM), the park charges an entry fee of Rs 10 per children and Rs 20 per adult. Further, taking a ride on the simulator costs Rs 20, ATV (90 cc) ride costs Rs 200 and ATV (50 cc) costs Rs 150.
The Nehru Park boasts of 45 sculptures carved out of concrete depicting various dance forms of the state of Assam including Bihu, Deodhani, Ojapali, Bor Taal and Jhumur. Besides, it has an open air theatre, a rock garden, jogging track, a charming lawn and a few artificial ponds with musical fountains that operate in the evening.