What makes neighbourhood parks in Chandigarh’s southern sectors stand out
Exotic flowers, medicinal plants clubbed with unique landscaping and efforts by senior citizens make these parks fare better
Gone is the perception that northern sectors of Chandigarh are better maintained than the southern ones as results of the best-awarded neighbourhood parks announced annually during the Rose Festival show that the parks of southern sectors have been bagging the top slots. The neighbourhood parks maintained by residents in Sector 41 A and Sector 40 C in particular are among the best, with both of them figuring among the top-three winners for the past few years.
In the Rose Festival organised in February this year, the neighbourhood park of Sector 41 A was adjudged the best. It has an arch to welcome visitors and exquisite designs which lend the park its uniqueness. Maintained by the RWA of Sector 41 A, senior citizens who live nearby work daily to ensure it looks the best. Gurbaksh Singh, one such citizen, tends to the garden and fetches fancy plants from places as far as Australia.
“While maintenance charges given by the MC have increased now, residents still have to contribute money to pay their gardener and upkeep of exotic plants grown here,” he said.
Spread across about one acre, the Sector-41 park has flowers such as Aster, sweet William, candytop and marigold. Aster flowers blooming here were specially flown in from Australia.
Local area councillor Hardeep Singh said, “The dedication of senior citizens living here is extraordinary. They have involved children as well and often offer sweets to the kids living nearby, who help keep the park clean.” Nearly 100 residents live near the park.
The neighbourhood park in Sector 40 C is maintained by the MIG-2 Welfare Association. It was adjudged the second best in 2022, after retaining the top slot in the previous years. President of local RWA, Bhupinder Singh Randhawa, said, “The park’s performance in the Rose Festival is a matter of great pride for us. All residents do what they can and work extra before the festival.”
He said residents also grow medicinal plants and trees besides the flowers which are grown in the winters so that they bloom by the time of the festival.
The Sector-40 park also measures around one acre and is known for its roses and various medicinal plants, including stevia, aloe vera and lemongrass. Around 500 people live close to the park and come here for their morning and evening walks.
Local area councillor Gurbax Rawat said, “We had to organise some meetings to convince people to treat the park as their own. But once they won the competition around seven years ago, the residents took it upon themselves to win it every year,” she said.
The Sector-41 park has one gardener while two gardeners work in the Sector-40 park on alternative shifts. The MC pays about ₹5,500 per month for the Sector-41 park and around ₹5,000 for the Sector-40 park. Irrigation at the both the parks is done through tertiary water.
On why only southern sector parks were doing well, MC commissioner Anindita Mitra said, “There is no particular reason. RWAs participate enthusiastically and the awarded ones have the best parks as seen during foot inspections.”
She said a large number of RWAs already maintain these parks and participate in the annual competition when asked if the MC is thinking of any particular way to involve more welfare associations in this.
Out of about 1,800 neighbourhood parks in the city, about 713 are maintained by the RWAs.