Iconic park never remained closed for so long

The facility was closed for enovation in 2018

The Children’s Park, as the Indira Priyadarshini Children’s Traffic Training Park is popularly known, has never remained closed for so long, nearly three years now, since its inception in 1973.

The park, closed for renovation in 2018, is spread over five acres in the heart of the city, and is owned by the District Council for Child Welfare (DCCW). It is governed by an 11-member elected governing body with the District Collector as chairman and assistant development commissioner as secretary, both ex-officio members.

“A largely neglected small park owned by the corporation was handed over to us on our request. We then developed it, the credit for which should largely go to the late Bhaskaran Nair, who was so passionate about the project that he chose to serve as the park superintendent despite being a deputy collector and even slept at the park overnight,” recollected S. Chandrasenan, vice-president and long-serving member of DCCW governing committee.

He recalled how the late superintendent used to go around shops on Broadway, seeking sponsors to even replace faulty lights in the park. “There used to be a monkey in the park in those days and he unfailingly served him milk daily,” Mr. Chandrasenan chuckled.

While the park witnessed periodic repair works, it was never closed to visitors with the last major renovation being witnessed in 2002 when the Department of Tourism set up a recreation pond for boating and musical fountain in the park. Previously, a boat jetty stood where the pond was dug later. Shyamalakshmi S., secretary of the DCCW, said some renovation works were carried out by the Kerala State Nirmithi Kendra in the 90s.

In the past, the park had traffic signals regulating the movement of toy vehicles, and traffic cops used to drop in for imparting traffic lessons to children. But that gradually stopped as the police found it hard to spare officials.

Mr. Chandrasenan recollected an attempt to politicise the running of the park in the past by inducting political nominees into the governing body. “We got the move stalled by the High Court and the judge had even made a scathing observation about the attempt while disposing of the case,” said Mr. Chandrasenan, who had argued the case on behalf of a governing body member who had petitioned the court.

Till some two years before the park was closed for renovation in 2018, it was open to all on taking the entry tickets whereafter entry was restricted to children under the age of 10 and parents accompanying them alone. “The governing committee took such a decision after it came to our notice that unrestricted entry to people of all age groups was being misused, especially by young romantic couples,” said Mr. Chandrasenan.

Source: Read Full Article