| The Xahityarathi Lakhminath Bezbarua park, which will be inaugurated on Saturday. Picture by UB Photos |
June 15: The city will tomorrow get a new three-bigha park, the creators of which said it could be small in size but is a good advertisement for a “healthy” environment in a place turning into a concrete jungle.
The park, along GS Road inside the secretariat complex here, has been named after Xahityarathi Lakhminath Bezbarua, the decision of which was taken by chief minister Tarun Gogoi early this week.
PWD commissioner (buildings and highways) Ajoy Bordoloi, under whose supervision the project was executed at a cost of around Rs 70 lakh, said the park would be inaugurated by the chief minister tomorrow evening.
PWD minister Ajanta Neog will be in attendance. “It will come as a great relief for morning walkers. It will be good for the environment. The government is now looking at developing the adjacent Parade Ground with underground parking and open space. It is planning to shift near the Last Gate which is part of the great secretariat complex,” Bordoloi said.
Sources said the PWD department had to make do with whatever land they could carve out of the newly developed secretariat complex following objections from around 22 NGOs which refused to budge unless the government allotted an alternative ground nearby.
According to them, they have still managed to carve out a 1.5-bigha pond, 240 metres of walking strip and plant fruit-bearing trees besides local orchids.
“We have around 6,000 fishes, two tortoises in the pond besides 18 ducks and adequate trees and plants, which will bloom in two-three years’ time, to give it a very natural feel. For those who visit the park, we have installed a weighing machine so that they can check their weight,” one of them said.
Since it is in a high-security zone, entry will be restricted. “Though we have not fixed the timing, we will be allowing entry from 4am to 8.30am and from 5pm to 8pm when the chief minister is not in the office. People have been flocking to the park even now as there are very few open spaces left in the city.
The government has budgeted for its maintenance, a key area which is mostly ignored in the state. “Around Rs 2.74 lakh will be spent on a gardener, a chowkidar, feed for the ducks and maintenance per year. It is a property of the secretariat administration but the PWD will maintain it,” the source added.