Hyderabad :Giving the example of the Central Park amidst the concrete jungle of New York, Minister for Municipal Administration and Urban Development (MA&UD) KT Rama Rao on Monday congratulated Telangana Forest Development Corporation (TSFDC) and avid cyclists from the IT hub for making possible a green space in the busy Kondapur area. The MA&UD Minister was speaking at the inauguration of the Pala Pitta Cycling Park developed by TSFDC under the Kothaguda Reserve Forest area, opposite Botanical Garden.
The park, India’s first and only exclusive cycling zone spread over 46 acres, features two connected cycling tracks of 2.9 km length. The fee for adults would be Rs. 50 per hour or Rs 800 per month. However, for those coming in with their own bicycles, the fee would be Rs 25 per hour and children would be charged half of the adult fees. Rao even donned the head gear and pedalled his way from the entrance of the park to the podium, where he was to speak as chief guest. However, the Minister could not pick up any speed as media persons and fans mobbed him for handshakes, photographs and selfies.
The Minister, however, gave every chance to young students of nearby schools to interact with him. While speaking, he laid emphasis on the need for green spaces at a time when pollution and traffic congestion were on the rise in all metro cities. “I want to congratulate TSFDC and avid cyclists in the area for making this possible. Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao is extremely fond of green spaces and has been rooting for more lung spaces in the burgeoning city of Hyderabad since 2014. I must tell you, I have been around the country and the world, but the quality of this cycling park surpasses all. It is top-notch. The department has done a brilliant job,” he said.
Drawing much applause from the many students and cyclists present, the Minister directed TSFDC officials to ensure that no cars or two-wheelers are allowed inside the cycling park, so that the space remains pollution free, and also to avoid the risk of accidents with cyclists. The Minister also showed satellite images of Serilingampally area, showing how the Telangana government has improved the greenery here at a time of rapid concretisation.
“Some leaders from the Congress government of erstwhile united Andhra Pradesh had given away government land to corporate firms for private gains, but we ensured that the lands were given back to the government. We are pushing for more and more empty lands to be converted into green spaces than concrete jungles,” he said. Serilingampally MLA Arekapudi Gandhi, Kondapur Corporator Hamid Patel and TSFDC Managing Director Chandan Mitra were also present.