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CPM opens, rival reopens
- Trinamul minister Ghatak inaugurates park a second time

Asansol, Aug. 17: Trinamul minister Malay Ghatak “inaugurated” a park in Asansol on Independence Day that was opened four years ago by the CPM’s local MP and MLA.

The earlier stone plaque, perched on the hands of a figurine and mentioning the names of then Asansol MP Bansagopal Chowdhury and MLA Pratibha Ranjan Mukherjee as the inaugurators, was replaced by a new one. This has the names of law minister Ghatak and Asansol mayor Tapas Bandyopadhyay.

The name of the park has been tweaked from Spandan Udayan to Spandan Recreation Park.

The Asansol-Durgapur Development Authority (ADDA) has hired a private agency for the upkeep of the park. The agency has started to collect an entry fee of Rs 2 per person after the second inauguration, a move that has displeased regular visitors.

A small programme was held on August 15 in the presence of Ghatak and Bandyopadhyay, who is also the ADDA chairman.

The then the ADDA chairman, Chowdhury, had decided to build the park near Asansol court on a one-acre plot the public works department donated to ADDA on October 3, 2008.

Chowdhury termed “amusing” the ADDA’s move to inaugurate the park a second time. “It was amusing to see the law minister inaugurate a park that was opened four years ago. I had taken the initiative to set up the park so that senior citizens have a place for their morning stroll. Children also frequent the park,” he said.

Chowdhury said as the ADDA had not taken up any project in the 13 months that Trinamul has been at its helm, “it has no option but to serve old wine in a new bottle”.

Bandyopadhyay said he was “not aware” that the park had been inaugurated earlier. “The ADDA had set up the park four years ago but I did not know it had been inaugurated. We have hired a private agency to beautify the park. There was no infrastructure here earlier. But now, the agency has started joyrides for children,” he said.

Ghatak said: “The park has got a new look and a new name.”

Visitors said they were surprised to see the park being inaugurated again.

“It was funny to see the minister open the park. I have been a regular at the park for the past four years. I go for my morning walk and exercises there,” a retired Eastern Coalfields Ltd employee said.

A retired IISCO employee said: “For the past two days, I have had to pay Rs 2 to enter the park. The Asansol town is a concrete jungle and this park is a welcome relief. But if I have to pay to enter the park, I will think twice before coming here,”