Overcrowding would soon be a thing of the past at Rajdhani Vatika. Better known as Eco Park, its expansion is on the cards.
The size of the open space would almost double, adding 17 acres to the existing 21 acres. The state forests and environment department has given approval for the park’s extension.
“Initially, the plan was to develop the park in four phases. We have completed work on the first two phases — developing two parks along the secretariat. Noticing the rise in footfall in the two spaces, the forest department has given its nod for the expansion of the existing park area,” said Gopal Singh, the divisional forest officer of Patna.
The third part of the park would be developed along the drain that runs parallel to Hardinge Road, starting behind Haj Bhavan and ending at Sardar Patel Chowk. The fourth part would run parallel to Aney Marg.
“The work includes construction of a boundary wall and ground-levelling in the extended area at an estimated outlay of Rs 8.93crore.
“There is a proposal to develop an audio-visual interpretation centre of flora and fauna in the extended area. The idea has been sent to the Infrastructure Development Authority for approval,” said Singh.
A musical fountain would also come up in the extended park this fiscal.
Residents are upbeat about the park expansion plan.
“Eco Park seems to have become a favourite hangout for people of all ages in the city. It is evident in the crowd there during holidays and festivities. Extending the park is a welcome step. It would prove to be a boon for joggers like me who, otherwise, have very few options in this city,” SK Nagar resident Roshan Parmar said.
At present, the park is divided into two parts — the northern part spread across 12 acres and the southern part across another nine acres. It has a 2-km-long jogging track. There is also a platform for practising yoga.
Chief minister Nitish Kumar had inaugurated the park on March 23, 2010.
The park saw 10.89 lakh visitors in 2012-13, double the number of visitors a year before, and generated Rs 68.72lakh in revenue.
People flock to this park in large numbers in every weekend. Finding a bench to sit on is an uphill task during festivities and extended weekends.
Those seeking some solitude and peace far from the madding crowds among the lush greens here often leave frustrated because of space crunch. But all that would become a thing of the past once the park’s expansion work is over.