Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, May 5:
Continuing its strategy to provide better health and lifestyle practices, the Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) has now got facilities of Open Air Gym at 15 parks across the Odisha capital. Two years ago, the city had started with one such facility at Buddha Jayanti Park, which later became five.
The development authority had introduced the Open Air Gym concept in the city to instil the daily exercising plan in everybody’s lifestyle as most of the citizens were not active physically, but after the spread of this concept there has been a dramatic rise in the footfall in the park and people from all walks of life are using the equipment and stay healthy.
It can be mentioned here that Urban Development Minister Pushpendra Singh Deo on the occasion of the 33rd foundation day of BDA, inaugurated the first Open Air Gym facility on September 1, 2015, at Buddha Jayanti Park in Niladri Vihar.
Later in the same year Biju Patnaik Park near Capital Hospital, Kelucharan Park near Netaji Subhash Enclave, Gadakana, Madhusudan Park at Pokhariput and Kharavela Park near Khandagiri-Udayagiri caves were added to the list. 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 dumbbell, bench with fixed weight lift and poles with fixed weight.
As per the size of the park, however, two different sets of equipment, i.e. twelve or six are fixed in the areas earmarked for the Open Air Gym.
Sources also added that from the three Smart Parks being planned in Sahid Nagar, one will have the Open Air Gym facility in order to give the people of Smart District more smarter and healthier alternative to keep themselves active and fit.
Retired Government official Nrupakishore Patnaik, a morning walker and regular at Madhusudan Park in Pokhariput, feels that this innovative concept by BDA at major parks had added as a booster to the senior citizens and they were seen queuing up at our park since 5 am in the morning and till 7 o’clock the rush is there.
Local councillor, Hrudaya Ballav Samantray, who also comes to the Madhusudan Park for exercising, says that the Open Air Gym had actually come as a reminder for all to be cautious about their own fitness and need to use them daily. “Without any user fee this has really come as a boon to the community as many are suffering from stress related ailments due to lack of exercise,” he adds.
Dr. Sabyasachi Das, also a local resident of Pokhariput says “the entire nation is virtually sitting on a diabetic bomb scare as the number of cases and stress related diseases are on the rise. If we go on exercising on daily basis, then we can actually delay or just get rid of any such threat in the future. So this initiative by BDA to make people exercise has become a very well-planned strategy to make the city livable and smart. This has also been an objective in the Smart City Proposal of Bhubaneswar.”
The BDA has not only initiated the smarter alternatives for its citizens through the Open Air Gyms, but the introduction of Patha Utsav (previously Raahgiri) to promote physical fitness and activities and use of non-motorised transport like walking and bicycles, also proves that the development authority is always doing something in a sustainable way to keep the people healthy and happy. In the near future the Public Bicycle Sharing system with 1,200 cycles through 120 docking stations across the Capital city would also add to the continuing initiatives to make Bhubaneswar more healthy and fit.
Here goes the list of all parks under BDA, where the Open Air Gyms are currently functioning and people are finding it interesting to try out and plan their daily dose of exercise regime amidst the natural surrounding and with convenience of either morning or evening hours or just go there both the time, if they can afford it as per their daily routine.
LIST OF OPEN AIR GYMS IN BDA PARKS
- Madhusudan Park Pokhariput
- Buddha Jayanti Park, Niladri Vihar
- Kharvel Nagar Park, Unit III
- Kharavel Park, Khandagiri
- Kalpana Park, Kalpana Area
- Harekrushna Mahatab Park, BJB College Arts Block
- Dumuduma Phase III Park
- Biju Patnaik Park, Forest Park Area
- Indira Gandhi Park
- Kelucharan Park, Gadakana
- Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Park, Satsang Vihar
- Judhisthira Das Park, N-3, IRC Village
- Gopabandhu Nagar Park, Unit VIII
- Dharma Vihar Park, Jagamara
- Sailashree Vihar Phase VII Park, Sailashree Vihar