| A boat at Mangal Talab. Picture by Sachin |
Revellers planning boat rides at Mangal Talab this New Year have to be content without the attraction because of inadequate arrangements.
Sources said the four old boats used by visitors at the 200-year-old pond in Patna City are in a poor condition, while the four new ones bought in December cannot be used because of unavailability of jetty.
Every year, Mangal Talab becomes a hot spot of New Year revellers and the prime attraction is the boating facility. On January 1, 2012, around 10,000 people had visited Mangal Talab and waited for hours for their turn to enjoy the boat ride despite rain. The boat ride service at Mangal Talab, introduced in 2010 in a public-private-partnership mode, was snapped six months ago.
Sanjay Kumar Albela, the in-charge of the boat ride service at Mangal Talab, said: “I visited sub-divisional officer Raman Kumar Sinha’s office several times and asked him to arrange a jetty. We cannot start the service without a jetty because the stairs leading to the pond have become very slippery. We don’t want any accident.
Patna district magistrate Sanjay Kumar Singh told The Telegraph that he would ask the sub-divisional officer (SDO) Raman Kumar Sinha to looking into the matter so that the people of Patna city can enjoy the boating facility.”
Not only the boats are in a shabby condition, the surroundings of the Mangal Talab are also quite dirty. According to the sources, the campus is not cleaned on a regular basis. Besides, the pond is used by many to wash clothes, making the water dirty and unhygienic. Residents said the administration could not justify its “lackadaisical approach” towards the pond.
“Mangal Talab is around 200 years old. Earlier it was known as Mangle’s Tank. Every year, a fair is organised at Mangal Talab on January 1 and it receives a huge footfall. The boat ride facility was the prime attraction. However, the revellers will miss the facility this New Year,” said Manoj Kumar (35).
“The boats are not being used for six months. This is very disappointing for the residents of Patna City. We do not have many places to hang out. Mangal talab was our favourite destination. Now, we cannot visit the pond because the boating facility will be missing,” he added.
Mala Shukla, a homemaker, said: “Everybody in our family loves the boat ride. It’s sad that we cannot enjoy the facility this time.”