Visitors pose for a picture on Raj Bhavan’s fragrant premises on Tuesday. Picture by Hardeep Singh
Blame it on the lack of options or simply call it people’s choice, the sprawling gardens of Raj Bhavan seem to be heaven on Earth for Ranchiites.
The greens of the governor’s official residence drew as many as 15,485 people on Tuesday, a huge jump from Monday’s crowd count of 2,848. The rise in the footfall suggests that Ranchi residents badly need some new places to spend holidays or weekends.
Visitor Rita Kachchap had enough reasons to drop by with her family. “Our city does not have enough places to go. Rock Garden, Sido Kanu Park are good places to visit, but the parks inaugurated last year are small and do not have much to admire. In comparison, the Raj Bhavan gardens are paradise. It’s great to spend an hour or two with family and friends here,” smiled the lady in her mid-50s.
For parents of two children, Nivedita Pankaj and her husband did not even had to think once before choosing the governor’s gardens to spend some good time with their children. “If one wishes to spend a few hours amid greenery, Ranchi actually do not have much options. Children get bored during weekends. We really need more visiting places,” said Nivedita.
As the crowd count surged, the number of food carts on the footpath along the road outside Raj Bhavan also swelled.
The open space around the Machhli Ghar and Nakshatra Van opposite Raj Bhavan usually houses around 10 to 15 food kiosks. The numbers jumped to 50-plus on Tuesday.
Starting from the all time favourite chow mein to the popular choice bhel puri, the carts offered all kinds of street food.
Besides, a few hawkers were also found selling helmets, sofa covers and other home essentials.
Arun Kumar, owner of a chaat stall near Machhli Ghar, best summed up why the numbers of both the food kiosks as well as the crowd have gone up.
“We do brisk business during some of the fairs held at Morabadi grounds. Otherwise, we have wait for occasions like Durga Puja, Chhath or Rath Yatra. The city does not have enough places where people can simply spend some leisurely time during weekends. It kills our business opportunities. The profit we make here will help us survive till Ramnavami (in April) when we shift to nearby villages that host fairs,” said Kumar.
So, what is the take of the authorities concerned, (read Ranchi Municipal Corporation)?
When asked, civic body CEO Manoj Kumar said, “We have enough plans in hand to make the city an admirable place. The projects, which are on pipeline, will definitely give more options to the residents.”