Dhanbad folks stroll on coal mound garden
How often do you take a stroll through the grass in a garden? How often do you stop to look at, touch or smell a flower?
These days, hundreds of coal town residents are spending their evenings at the scenic Gokuldham Park amidst sunflowers, roses, gulmohars and bougainvillea.
The park, spread over 22 hectares, was developed on an abandoned mine in BCCL’s Lodna area, 15km from the district headquarters, in 2014.
The park also has a 10-hectare eco-restoration zone studded with mango, guava, Ashoka, banyan, sal, Arjun and neem trees and a three-hectare picnic zone equipped with swings and slides.
However, among all the flowering plants and trees, the sunflower plantation in a half-an-acre plot has become the biggest crowd-puller.
Kalyan Ji Prasad, general manager of Lodna area of BCCL said, “Though sunflowers were being grown in the park for the last three years, this year’s results have been the best with the plants growing up to 2.5 feet.”
The park, divided into three zones — upper, middle and higher — was developed in 2014 by carrying out plantations over heaps of earth, rock and sand that was extracted during coal mining.
“Though the park was initially developed over seven hectares, we started increasing its size by adding more facilities. Now, it is spread over 22 acres and also has two water bodies,” Prasad said.
Vijay Nawal Patel, who maintains the park said, “We have deployed over 50 people from North Tisra, South Tisra, Barari and Lodna collieries to carry out plantations. The biggest worry, however, is rampant theft of flowering plants by local people.”