Odisha: Three Smart Parks in Sahid Nagar Bhubaneswar

Report by Sambit Samal, Bhubaneswar: Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) and Bhubaneswar Smart City Limited (BSCL) are developing three parks in the city as ‘Smart Parks’ as part of the Smart City initiative. These ‘Smart Parks’ will be incorporated with child-friendly and social landscape features, as well as technological features such as Water ATMs, Wi-Fi and Informative variable signage systems, to connect the local communities with the open spaces in the city.
The parks shall be universally inclusive for all, and promoted as learning and recreational centers, with features like children’s play area, e-toilets, splash parks, open gyms, watch towers, butterfly parks, sensory gardens and a half-basketball court.
The initial parks chosen as part of the ‘Smart Park’ initiative are three parks in the Sahid Nagar region, namely the park district near Bhawani Mall (amalgamation of four small parks), BDA-OMC Park and a small community garden near Sparsh Hospital.

Local councillor Saswati Mishra of Ward No. 30 said “the Temple City has won the Smart City Challenge with a unique proposal to make the Smart City child-friendly. As a first step towards fulfilling that promise the parks within the first Smart District or the Bhubaneswar Town Centre District (BTCD) will have child-friendly Smart Parks and they will be helpful with their various engagement-centric planning by the architects and engineers. ‘’
“The work started last evening near Khanduali Temple (Old Robot Park) in my ward in Saheed Nagar and I hope that once the project is through and completed, the residents and especially kids, will be benefitted,’’ she added.
BSCL sources said the three Smart Parks will be constructed with a cost of Rs 1.80 crore and the work is likely to be over in six months time.
E-Toilet is an innovatively designed and engineered public sanitation model that involves unmanned operations, clean and hygienic facilities, easy and continual operation of the toilets while minimizing unnecessary maintenance costs. The E-Toilets incorporate a full-cycle approach in sustainable sanitation by integrating electrical, mechanical and web-mobile technologies. E-Toilets have multiple revenue options, which ensure sustainability of operations.
Splash Park:
A splash park or spray pool is a recreation area, often in a public park, for water play that has little or no standing water. This is said to eliminate the need for lifeguards or other supervision, as there is little risk of drowning. Typically there are ground nozzles that spray water upwards out of the splash pad’s rain deck. There may also be other water features such as a rainbow (semicircular pipe shower), a mushroom shower, or a tree shower. Some splash pads feature movable nozzles similar to those found on fire trucks to allow users to spray others. Many splash pads are designed to appeal to young children, but a more recent trend has been to design similar spaces that include more sophisticated aquatic play features that appeal to adults as well.
Open Gym:
For the first time in the city outdoor fitness equipment or open-air gym at five major parks welcomed visitors with a choice of 12 different stations to work out, sweat and build smarter bodies on September 1, 2015, when Urban Development Minister Pushpendra Singh Deo on the occasion of 33rd foundation day of BDA inaugurated the facility at Buddha Jayanti Park in Niladri Vihar. Today in 15 city parks the open-air gyms are functioning. Each set of outdoor fitness equipment comprised an air walker, sit-up bench, air swing, twister, set back or glider, push and pull up chair, knee/hip raise on parallel bars, big shoulder wheel, spinner, bench with fixed dumb bell, bench with fixed weight lift and poles with fixed weight. The Smart Parks with the open gyms will definitely contribute towards better health of all age groups.
Watch Tower:
It is an observation post used to view events from a long distance. Its main purpose is to provide a high and safe place from which a visitor may observe and admire the surrounding area. As it helps in providing an aerial view of the area in its focus, the visitors, especially kids and young generation find it a perfect location to visit and often hang around.
Butterfly Park:
It is a nature park with special emphasis on conserving and showcasing butterflies in their natural habitat. The visitors can enjoy a variety of colourful butterflies in their natural surroundings to understand their significance in the ecosystem. There is a butterfly park inside the Nandankanan Biological Park on the outskirts of the State Capital region.
Sensory Garden:
A sensory garden is a garden environment that is designed with the purpose of stimulating the senses. This stimulation occurs courtesy of plants and the use of materials that engage one’s senses of sight, smell, touch, taste, and sound. Visitors will be led through an unpaved track, through scented and colourful plants. A sensory garden can be very therapeutic for people who suffer from sensory problems. For children, who are hyper-reactive to stimuli, the sensory garden should provide a relaxing environment, and for children who tend to be under-reactive to stimuli, the garden is a great way to stimulate the senses. For children who do not suffer from a disability, a sensory garden is beneficial in that it is a fun educational tool that allows them to explore and learn about their senses and nature. While in the garden, they are encouraged to touch, smell, taste, and generally interact with the environment around them. In people with dementia, sensory gardens can help keep them calm and interested, and these gardens also help to keep all of one’s senses aroused.
Information variable signage system:
It is an electronic sign to give visitors information about special events. The information comes from a variety of traffic monitoring and surveillance systems. It is expected that by providing real-time information on special events in the neighbourhood, as well as information on pollution levels, traffic and weather or other local and city parameters, the signage system serves the community in a greater way.

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