Following discussions with parks department officials and NGOs, Greater Chennai Corporation has waived the Rs 50,000 caution deposit and the annual adoption fee of Rs 100 per sqm of park. The decision was made to ensure proper maintenance of infrastructure.
“We wanted to create an attractive brand so we came up with the name, PASUMAI or Park Adoption Scheme for Urban Landscape Maintenance and Improvement. Under this, agencies, NGOs, organizations or individuals can just contact the concerned nodal officer and fill up a form to take up a park for maintenance,” said Meghnath Reddy, deputy commissioner, works (in-charge). Those adopting parks can also put up small boards stating that they maintain the park along with their brand or the name of the company or resident welfare association.
Of the 703 corporation parks, 51 have been adopted so far. The corporation maintains 54 parks and has outsourced 554 to contractors. “Most of these are only maintained by gated communities. Very few residential welfare associations have come forward. Now we hope they will be encouraged to take up adoption in a big way,” said Meghnath Reddy. The adoption period will cover one year and can be renewed annually.
Park maintenance usually involves appointment of a security guard, sweepers, gardeners who can prune trees regularly and conduct minor repairs of play equipment. Monthly maintenance cost varies between Rs 1,500 and Rs 1 lakh depending on the area and number of trees in the park. “We will make sure a park superintendent inspects the parks periodically to ensure they are maintained well,” said a parks department official.
Geeta Padmanaban, who maintains a park in Thiruvanmiyur’s Sivagamipuram, hailed the corporation’s decision. “This means so much for people like us as there are very few parks in our area. This would encourage local residential welfare associations to look at open spaces and convert them into parks which they can maintain it easily. We hope that we get our caution deposit back,” she said.