The beautification work on the right track, the district administration wants to seal the future of the Gandhi Maidan by constituting a dedicated committee for its maintenance.
District magistrate Sanjay Singh has sent a proposal to the state government to form a panel for looking after the Maidan similar to the one responsible for the maintenance of SK Memorial Hall. “It is very important to maintain the ground. At present, we do not have any system in place for its upkeep. Having realised it, I have given a proposal to the state government to form a committee similar to the one responsible for the maintenance of SK Memorial Hall. The committee would look after the maintenance work of the Maidan,” he said.
He has a second option if a dedicated body cannot be constituted for the Maidan’s maintenance.
“I have proposed that if a separate committee cannot be formed for the Gandhi Maidan, the panel looking after the SK Memorial Hall should take care of it,” he said. Over Rs 8.5 crore is being spent to give the historic ground a brand new look. The work at the Maidan is scheduled to be over by the first week of November.
“Many people are working day and night for the beautification work. To maintain the ground on a regular basis, we need their services. But for that we need to pay them money, which we do not have. Therefore, it is very important for the government to form a committee. After a function gets over, there must be a mechanism to restore things,” he said.
Singh said a number of sprinklers and borings have been installed at the Maidan. They would run on electricity. But clearing the power bill could be a Herculean task. “The money generated through the programmes held at the ground would not be enough to foot the bill,” he said. “Apart from commercial events and political rallies, there is no other source of revenue for the Gandhi Maidan,” he said.
The district magistrate could not quote a budget for the maintenance of the ground on a regular basis.
The Gandhi Maidan has been virtually nobody’s child though the district administration is responsible for its maintenance, technically. Revenue for the Maidan is generated through political and commercial programmes and the rates for them differ (see graphics). Whatever money is generated goes to the treasury department, which comes under the district administration.
At present, the beautification work is going on in full swing on the 61-acre ground. “We are giving our best to complete the beautification work and lot of money is being spent. Grass has started growing. To maintain the greenery, there is a need for pruning. If it is not done, bushes will grow in certain parts of the ground,” Singh, the district magistrate, said.
On the ongoing work he said: “Grass pitching work has not yet been fully completed and there are some parts of the ground where we need to do the same. The pathway is another area that has not yet been completed.”
The outer boundary wall has been renovated, along with the grilles and the inner part of the boundary wall that will have plants in flowerpots.