Ranchi may well become a city of parks this summer.
Governor Syed Ahmed, who wanted more green lungs in the capital, will lay the foundation stones of six parks on Friday with Ranchi Municipal Corporation (RMC) as their civic guardian.
The refreshing six ' all on government land identified as vacant ' will have their addresses in Morabadi, behind the chief minister's official residence and in Harmu. The RMC, which is spending Rs 1.53 crore on the parks, is eyeing a six-month deadline.
The 60-decimal Morabadi park will be named after tribal ideologue Ram Dayal Munda ' something for Ranchi denizens to cheer about.
The proposed 1.5-acre park behind the chief minister's residence will also be close to the city's largest existing green lung, the five-acre Sidho-Kanhu Park, adding majesty to the VVIP area. It will be named Nigam Park.
The rest four, the names of which have not yet been finalised, are slated to come up at vacant plots in the fast-developing Harmu Housing Colony, with each spreading over 40-50 decimals.
"We are gearing up for the foundation stone laying ceremony tomorrow (Friday). The honourable governor will attend a function hosted by Election Commission of India at Red Cross office in Morabadi. On his way back to Raj Bhavan, he will lay the foundation stones for the new parks," RMC chief executive officer Dipankar Panda said.
RMC has engaged earthmovers to level grounds at Morabadi and the 1.5 acres near Sidho-Kanhu Park where the governor will lay the foundation stones. No separate ceremony will be held for the Harmu quartet as it forms a part of the civic body's six-park project.
Once governor Ahmed does the honours, work will kick off full speed, said Panda.
Governor Ahmed, on July 18 last year, had met urban development secretary Nitin Madan Kulkarni, deputy commissioner Vinay Kumar Choubey and RMC boss Panda, asking them to scout for more green space in the fast-growing city with an over 10-lakh population.
Then, RMC started identifying land and arranging funds for the task.
At present, the city has only five parks. The state forest department owns the Sidho-Kanhu Park while RMC the rest ' Sri Krishna Singh Park in Doranda, Dada Dadi Park and Children's Park near Morabadi grounds and Zakir Hussain Park near Raj Bhavan. Tagore Hill, Rock Gardens and Aqua World are other spaces where residents, including children, spend their leisure.
But as Ranchi sees a real estate boom, more traffic on roads and more malls and multiplexes, expanding the city's green zone became a must.
The only catch? RMC doesn't have a great record of maintaining the existing greens. Parks need regular maintenance, with basics such as weeding, mowing, lights and security. Else, they become urban graveyards and criminal dens.
Will the six parks also be a case of well-begun, half-done and dumped in neglect?
Which Ranchi green lung do you visit most and why?