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Landmark to regain green look

- DM directs firm to stop work at Gandhi Maidan

Here’s a balm after injury.

Patna district magistrate N. Saravana Kumar has asked the building construction department to shift the site of the firm camping at Gandhi Maidan for construction of the upcoming International Convention Centre.

The Telegraph on February 18 had reported how the maidan was losing its greens after a beautification drive was executed recently.

The state government had spent Rs 8.5 crore on the beautification of the maidan in end-2012. However, in less than two years it has lost its beauty. After the serial blasts at the maidan during BJP’s Hunkar Rally in October 2013, security agencies had dug up parts of the city’s landmark to sanitise it.

Later, on the request of the building construction department, the district administration allotted six acres of the 63-acre ground to the firm constructing the International Convention Centre.

The rulebook states that concrete construction is not permitted inside the ground. Despite that, the firm continued with the construction work. The work of assembling parts of the structure and pre-fabrication work was also going on inside the ground.

Opposition leaders, too, had raised the issue about the historic maidan being given to a firm for construction purposes. Former deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi raised the issue at the Bihar Legislative Council on Saturday and said the ground was for morning walkers and children.

He added that he had spoken to chief minister Nitish Kumar in this regard and suggested him to free the ground from any concrete construction. Five days after The Telegraph reported the matter, the district administration asked the building construction department to stop the construction inside the maidan and ask the firm to carry out such work outside the green patch.

District magistrate N. Saravana said: “I have asked the building construction department to find some other place for the company because we cannot allow the firm to carry out concrete constructions on the ground.”

He added that the company has informed him that it was not possible for them to continue work without concrete constructions inside the ground.

“I have told the company that we will not allow any concrete constructions inside the ground. I have asked the building construction department to find an alternative place for the firm. Though I have not set any deadline for the department, I have asked them to help the company shift as soon as possible,” he said.

The district magistrate added: “Even the barricading and the makeshift stage, including the bamboos lying on the ground, were being removed from the maidan. Soon the ground would be restored to its original form. We will come out with the guidelines on how to maintain it because a committee has been formed.”

SP Verma Road resident Ranjan Kumar, who is a regular to the maidan for morning walk, said: “Finally, wisdom has dawned upon the district administration. It was painful to see Gandhi Maidan in this pathetic condition. Lets see, how many days the company takes to vacate the ground.”