Beyond the Ordinary: Exploring the distinctive features of Bhubaneswar Development Authority-managed parks

The new Bhubaneswar today is home to majestic tall buildings and an enviable standard of living. What
has contributed to its sustainability and healthy way of life, however, is not its regal skyline or elite
culture. Bhubaneswar’s expanding parkland is what has reconnected the local population with a shared
space for pleasure and fitness adding to its journey towards fulfilling sustainable goals.
In recent years, the city has taken significant steps to increase the availability of its public parkland with
the help of Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA). BDA has successfully developed around 70
public parks strategically located spanning the city. The fact that anyone from the public can visit BDAowned parks completely free sets them apart from other parks. Unlike most of the public parks in other
major cities of the country, the public parks in Bhubaneswar charge zero for anybody to visit from 5am
to 9pm.
The idea behind BDA’s parks goes beyond just creating green spaces for the community to enjoy. In
addition to building the parks, the authority is committed to maintaining these spaces at its own cost,
ensuring that they remain safe, clean, and well-maintained. By maintaining these parks at its own cost,
BDA is also able to ensure that they remain accessible to everyone in the community, regardless of their
financial means. This helps to promote social equity and inclusivity, ensuring that all members of the
community have access to outdoor spaces equipped with high quality elements for exercise, relaxation,
and recreation.
A total of 56 public parks in Bhubaneswar include play equipment for kids, which not only gives children
access to safe places that are directly beneficial to their holistic development but also give them a
chance to acquire and practice social skills. As it is in the parks that children learn how to make new
friends, understand the value of waiting for their turn to get equipment, and compromise. Additionally,
these green spaces expose children to nature therefore fostering a love for nature and teach them
about various flora, nature sounds, water etc. adding to their sensory development and scientific
learning. More than 40 BDA-owned parks have open gyms, and 4 have multigym amenities, providing a
free and open space for individuals to look after both their physical health in the midst of nature.
In a significant advancement the chief horticulturist at BDA, Mr. Ashokananda Dhar has revealed that in
association with Government of Odisha’s millet mission the parks managed by BDA shall now have millet
product stalls around the park promoting the local economies and strengthening chief minister’s vision
in promoting millet entrepreneurship. “Our goal is to provide each ward with a park nearby and we shall
keep working towards the direction. Our parks have been built citizen centric with no ulterior motives of
profit or gain. The sole purpose of these parks is to provide green spaces for people to enjoy, exercise
and rejuvenate. We would urge people to follow the signage and respect the minimal regulations put in
place to ensure the safety and cleanliness of these parks as it is a shared space for all.”, said Mr. Dhar.
Overall, BDA’s approach to park development and maintenance reflects a commitment to creating
sustainable, vibrant communities that promote health, wellness, and quality of life for all residents. By
building and maintaining these parks at its own cost, the authority is helping to create a legacy of green
spaces that will benefit the community for generations to come.

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