Nilamber Pitamber Park, formerly known as Oxygen Park, is one of the top notch public parks in the city. The park is well-known for its foot detoxification pond wherein visitors can get a fish-pedicure free of cost. But rather than detoxification, a dip of feet in this very pond may indeed make one vulnerable to the toxicants present in its waters.
The pond was designed for visitors to enjoy little fishes eating off dirt and dead skin from their feet by just dipping their feet in it. But unfortunately due to negligence and low maintenance the pond is now home to mosquitoes, weeds and snakes. Deepak Yadav, a staff deputed at the park pointed out that the pond has never been cleaned. “We have people assigned for the maintenance of the entire park but cleaning of the pond has never happened till date. Fishes are indeed put in the pond from time to time but they fall prey to little children who out of fascination steal them,” he said.
The area around the pond is surrounded by dense foliage and weeds leading to cases of snake-spotting around this area. The water of the pond is as dirty as a pig rolling in mud. This has in turn served as the breeding grounds for mosquitoes in this water body. In addition to this a layer of algae covers most of the water surface in here.
“I have been visiting this park for the past four years. I have never dared to dip my feet in this dirtiness; they call a foot detoxification pond. No sane person will think of doing this,” said Sushma Mahato, a visitor at the park.
On one handwell-trimmed lawns and intricately carved plantations gives the park a flawless impression while on the other hand the sorry condition of the pond is a major cause of disappointment amongst the visitors.