clean future for dirty patch
| Southern flank of Hardinge Park. Picture Ranjeet Kumar Dey |
|The report published in The Telegraph
on September 2, 2013
Shaheed Veer Kunwar Singh Azadi Park is set for a rebirth.
Commonly known as Hardinge Park, the historic green patch in the city had turned into a garbage-dumping zone because town planners could not find a suitable alternative to dump waste. Patna Municipal Corporation authorities have finally woken up from their slumber to salvage the Raj-era park by deciding against dumping garbage on its southern flank, along the Delhi-Howrah railway tracks. Municipal commissioner Kuldip Narayan issued an order on Tuesday to dump the garbage at an alternative site at Gardanibagh.
“An order has been issued by the commissioner to stop using the southern flank of the Hardinge Park as the garbage transfer station and to use the premises of the old office of the municipal corporation at Gardanibagh for the purpose. The old office was destroyed in a fire in 1974. Since then, it’s lying vacant. It would take a week or two to make arrangements to dump garbage at the site,” said a senior PMC officer.
The move comes after The Telegraph, in its September 2, 2013 edition, published a detailed report, “Garbage garb for key park”, on waste being dumped by the civic body at the park.
The PMC follows a practice of having a garbage transfer station in Patna, where the waste collected from different parts of the city, using smaller vehicles, is dumped. Then, bigger vehicles are used in carting it away to Ramchak-Bairiya landfill site on the Patna-Gaya road.
Then Lieutenant-Governor of Bihar and Odisha, Sir Edward Gai, had opened the park for public on January 31, 1916. It is located on either side of Hardinge Road and spread over an area of 20.35 acres.
According to the plans of the urban development and housing department, the park was to be developed in two parts — 4.04 acres on the south and 16.31 acres on the north. The work on redevelopment of the park was taken up by Bihar Urban Infrastructure Development Corporation (BUIDCo) in October last year. Though the work progressed on the northern side of the park, progress could not be made on its southern flank as the civic body continued to dump garbage. The BUIDCo had written several letters to the civic body to stop dumping garbage on the park project site.
Since now a decision has been taken to stop dumping garbage at the park, the BUIDCo is all set to expedite the redevelopment project. “We would start ground-levelling works as soon as the PMC stops dumping garbage. Later, grass beds would be laid. An urban haat, on the lines of Delhi Haat, is proposed at the park. Thus, we would not develop a jogging track. The detailed project report for the urban haat is being prepared,” said a senior BUIDCo officer.
Residents are upbeat with the PMC’s decision of not dumping garbage at the park. “I am glad that steps are finally being taken to preserve the heritage park. It is a green space in the heart of the city. I have fond memories of my childhood when I used to visit the park regularly. I expect the redevelopment work to complete at the earliest and the park is opened for its loyal joggers like me,” said Ashok Ghosh, a senior faculty member of AN College.