The state government has come up with guidelines for the safe use and upkeep of Gandhi Maidan, around eight months after the serial blasts virtually ruined it during the BJP’s rally last October.
The guidelines recently approved by the cabinet focuses on the ground’s safety, security, greenery and beauty. The rules would be effective after a formal notification by the building construction department — the parent body for the upkeep of the Maidan.
Requesting anonymity, a source in the building construction department told The Telegraph: “The guidelines, which would come into force soon after the formal notification by our department, has covered all the necessary and important aspects for the safety, security and the maintenance of the Maidan.”
He said: “The state cabinet has approved the setting up of a separate society for the upkeep, maintenance and the allotment of the Maidan. It would be headed by Patna divisional commissioner and Patna district magistrate, senior superintendent of police and Patna Municipal Corporation commissioner would be its members.”
Senior officers of the some other departments would also be members of the society.
Earlier, the district magistrate was the only authorised person to take any decision on Gandhi Maidan.
The official said: “Till now, police alone are responsible for the Maidan’s security. According to the new guidelines, a private security agency would be hired for its security. A tender would be floated for selecting the agency. Similarly, a private firm selected through bidding would take care of the gardening and the upkeep of the Maidan.”
Expressing happiness over the new guidelines, Exhibition Road resident and retired government employee Ram Kishore Prasad said: “I hope the guidelines would ensure a good atmosphere for the morning-walkers, especially the senior citizens.”
JDU leader Ajay Alok said: “The state government should not allow any political rallies in the ground and develop it as a heritage site.”
The state government had spent Rs 8.5 crore for the beautification of Maidan and the work was completed in 2012 November. In less than two years, the Maidan lost its beauty. The first damage was caused last October when the security agencies dug up its parts to sensitise it following the serial blasts in the BJP rally. Later, around six acres of the ground was given to a construction company, which had set up tenements for its workers involved in the construction of the International Convention Centre. The district administration ordered the firm to shift its workers some place else after The Telegraph published a report.