| A board barring entry to the stupa at Buddha Smriti Park in Patna. Picture by Piyush Kumar Tripathi |
Patna, Nov. 9: Tourists to Buddha Smriti Park would be able to visit all its facilities from next month if Bihar Urban Infrastructure Development Corporation (BUIDCo) has its way.
Monsoon had revealed faults at the park, a dream project of chief minister Nitish Kumar to attract Buddhist tourists from across the globe. Water seeped in through the stupa’s dome, compelling the authorities to keep buckets under the holes.
The Telegraph, in its July 16, 2011, edition had reported about the fissures. Apart from the seepage, the shutter and cloth ceiling were not removed by the contractor — Parshwanth Developers Limited — in spite of direction from BUIDCo officials. The situation is still the same at the stupa.
Now, BUIDCo, the agency responsible for the shrine’s upkeep and maintenance, has decided to adopt a permanent solution to the faults. It has decided to engage a third party to complete the work.
The agency has floated tender to start the work and is likely to award the project in a week.
“A team from Indian Institute of Technology-Banaras Hindu University suggested remedial measures for the stupa after the faults surfaced. Now, we are finalising the repair work at the stupa according to the suggestions. We will select one of the most renowned agencies to tackle the water seepage problem so that we do not face the same quandary in future,” said a senior BUIDCo official.
The official said the work is likely to be finished by December 15, after which tourists can visit the stupa. For the past fortnight, they have not been allowed inside.
Work on the museum and meditation hall on the campus would also be over by the same time.
While visitors cannot book the meditation centre now, they will be able to do so after the work is complete.
“Apart from the repair works in the stupa, the remaining work on the museum (under the state art, culture and youth department) and meditation hall would also be finished by December 15. The Buddha Smriti Park would be ready as an international park by December 15,” said the BUIDCo official. He, however, added that completing the multi-level parking facility at the southern side of the park would take some more time as priority is being given to the safety of the relics inside the stupa.