The spot where governor Syed Ahmed laid the foundation stone on Friday. Picture by Hardeep Singh
Presidentís Rule in the state appears to have failed to act as a deterrent for those out to halt development work of any kind, by hook or by crook.
A classic example of the devil-may-care attitude of mischief mongers became apparent when a foundation stone laid by governor Syed Ahmed on January 25 for a park at Morabadi in the heart of the state capital was stolen.
The foundation stone was made of granite and worth Rs 2,000. Inscribed on it was the name of the governor with the date of the foundation stone being laid, besides the name of the park ó Nigam Park. The golden lettering put in words what the people of the area had long wanted. Residents, for once, were happy that with the imposition of Presidentís Rule, development works were being taken up.
While no one is quite sure when the theft took place, residents said they came to know about it when early morning walkers found the plaque missing on Republic Day.
ďI was astonished to find the foundation stone missing when I came out to jog on the morning of January 26. I was really looking forward to the park coming up at the spot,Ē said Dhananjay Oroan, a student residing in a hostel run by the welfare department in front of park site.
Though the foundation stone made of granite was not expensive, the theft has come as a huge embarrassment for police officers as the foundation stone was laid by the governor, who is responsible for all matter of governance in the state when it is under Presidentís Rule. A senior officer said constables deputed for patrolling at the spot had been hauled up for the theft.
When contacted, senior superintendent of police Saket Kumar Singh confirmed the theft and said a case had been registered.
The park is under the jurisdiction of Gonda police station. Speaking to The Telegraph, officer-in-charge Raj Kapoor said after the FIR was lodged, every effort was being made to recover the foundation stone and arrest those responsible for the act.
Nigam Park is one of the six parks slated to come up for residents of the state capital in the next six months at a cost of around Rs 30 lakh each (for all six parks an amount of Rs 1.53 crore will be spent). Nigam Park is located behind the state chief ministerís official residence and is supposed to be developed on 1.5 acres.
However, the mischief makers could not really achieve what they set out to do. Hours after the theft had come to light, Ranchi Municipal Corporation had repaired the demolished structure from which the plaque was ripped off and was planning to bring another similar foundation stone carrying all the words that the stolen one had inscribed on it.