The Telegraph
Tuesday , May 13 , 2014
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Stink greets visitors at Buddha park gate

- Mayor blames PMC commissioner for cluttered garbage outside showcase tourist spot

Ejaz Ahmed (22) was disappointed after a visit to Buddha Smriti Park on Monday. The park was closed and a huge pile of garbage greeted him on its periphery.

Ejaz, a city boy now pursuing postgraduate diploma in management from Pailan College of Management and Technology, Calcutta, was definitely unhappy.

He said: “I did not know that the park remains closed on Mondays, else I would not have come today. But I am really shocked to see the condition of the periphery of the park. The Hindi proverb, keechad mein hi kamal khilta hai (lotus can grow only in filth), fits well with the condition of Buddha Smriti Park but in the wrong sense. The park looks clean from inside but its periphery is cluttered with garbage. Is the municipal body not responsible for cleaning the periphery? Why has it not ensured that?”

Any visitor would have the same feeling on seeing the condition of the park’s periphery, which happens to be one of the state’s objects of pride.

On a visit to the park, The Telegraph team found ice cream cups, used mineral water bottles, torn clothes, packets of liquor scattered outside the park. Torn posters and writings defaced the outside of the boundary walls.

When asked about the garbage outside the park, mayor Afzal Imam completely refused to take the blame.

Instead, blaming Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) commissioner Kuldeep Narayan, Imam said: “The garbage management plan of PMC is a complete failure and commissioner Kuldeep Narayan is responsible for this situation. You would find garbage not only outside Buddha Smriti Park but in the whole city because of this.”

PMC commissioner Narayan, on his part, said he had absolutely no idea about the filth lying outside Buddha Smriti Park.

He said: “Let me check. I have no idea about this. I will definitely take some action if I find your claims are true.”

Developed at around Rs 125 crore, Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama inaugurated the park on May 27 in 2010 amid much fanfare. Buddhist monks from Gaya, Tibet, Nepal and China often visit the park because of its religious importance.

Kumar Shivam (23), a CAT examinee, said: “PMC should have installed dustbins outside the park. That would have prevented cluttering in the area. Visitors are equally responsible for the situation, they should follow basic etiquette. Not finding dustbins does not mean they have the right to dump garbage outside the park.”