The plot at Morabadi in Ranchi will be revamped into a morning walkers’ paradise. Picture by Hardeep Singh
A Ranchi-based VIP, who frequently visits an open stretch in Morabadi for his morning walk, has jogged the state forest department to clean up the messy maidan.
State chief secretary R.S. Sharma, one of the rare fitness conscious bureaucrats in Jharkhand, found the two-acre open grounds near landmarks Birsa Munda Football Stadium and Ranchi College in Morabadi completely unfit for his walks.
Currently, the city cleaning agency A2Z often dumps filth on a large part of the vacant prime area, from which cattle, stray dogs and cats forage.
Hundreds of people who visit the place for walks and jogs, have no other choice but to ignore the sight and smell. Ranchi district cricket association hosts coaching and net practice on another side.
Sharma, one of the country’s best-known bureaucrats who worked on Aadhaar ID cards, is known as a man for quick action.
When putting up with mounds of filth during his walks got too much to bear, Sharma asked state forest department to act.
Talking to The Telegraph, principal chief conservator of forests (PCCF) A.K. Malhotra promised complete makeover for the open space.
“The area, a popular spot for morning walkers and joggers, is frequented by many, including high-profile persons. After CS saab (Sharma) shared his concerns with me regarding its pathetic state, we have swung into action,” Malhotra said.
So far, the forest department had prepared a revamp plan.
The grounds have a small stream, which gives it a natural advantage. The forest department, which will finance the landscaping, will develop walking trails on both sides of the stream, beautify the area with trees and install benches.
It will also have an amphitheatre for small cultural gatherings.
Cricket also will get its due. “The part of the grounds where cricket coaching takes place will get proper pitches,” said an assistant forester.
Money is no deterrent, said senior officials. Till funds for this project reach the forest department from the state budget of the coming year, it can get money on credit or procure a loan from forest development corporation.
“We will start work soon. Had I known about this before, the neglected grounds would have been developed earlier. It’s our job to maintain and create green spaces for citizens. More parks and playgrounds will benefit Ranchi,” Malhotra added.
The buzz is that officials have even found a tentative name for the neglected grounds in Morabadi — Oxygen Park. However, Malhotra did not confirm it.
After all, before getting into the frills of a naming ceremony, the forest department has to roll up its sleeves for a lot of work.
Can the forest department pull off the clean mission?