| The park on Albert Road. Picture by Pabitra Das
We are students of Birla High School for Boys and want to save a small park near our school which is on the verge of extinction.
The park and the waterbody inside it — at 1 Albert Road, behind the British Council office on Camac Street — has always been neglected despite being a rare breathing space in the area. The park is home to a variety of flora and fauna, including snails, squirrels, butterflies, grasshoppers, lizards, frogs, water snakes and lovely birds.
The park, which could have been developed into a dream patch of green, has turned into a nightmare because of garbage dumping and illegal encroachment. The waterbody has also become polluted in the absence of maintenance.
We have repeatedly approached the parks and gardens wing of the Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC), state forest department, state environment department and the British High Commission with the plea to save the park but nothing has materialised.
Organisations trying to protect the greenery, such as the World Wide Fund for Nature and Friends of the Trees, have agreed to plant more saplings, set grasses and label the existing trees with their scientific names. The organisations are ready to help the CMC in conserving the greenery but the civic body has hardly shown any interest so far.
The park, if restored, will serve as a lung to the locality, which has otherwise turned into a concrete jungle. It can also become a model environment and bio-diversity study park for students.
Wisdom in Natural Green Society (WINGS)
Birla High School for Boys.
(Readers are invited to write to email@example.com to highlight environment hazards in the city)
There are about 550 parks in the city. The civic body claims to have renovated 150 of them recently, but the parks themselves tell a different story. Many parts of north Calcutta do not have a single park/garden. A high court panel found in 2000 that there was less than 1 per cent “organised open space” in the city.