Tussle of green oasis vs city square
Preserve original beauty of Gandhi Maidan: Residents
Patna: The administration wants to turn Gandhi Maidan into a city square with facilities and attractions such as food courts and a drive-in movie hall, but many Patnaites feel that the original beauty of the 62-acre green oasis must be preserved and not destroyed with sundry fairs and cultural events.
A bunch of residents - mainly sports lovers and morning walkers - have decided to join hands under a banner called Gandhi Maidan Bachao Samiti to save the iconic open space, which they say has been neglected by the civic body and often misused.
"Many people go to Gandhi Maidan for morning walks and for playing different sports, but the ground is encroached upon by different agencies," said Vidhya Bhushan Singh, yoga practitioner and businessman.
The Samiti members said that the food court stalls often dump garbage in the ground.
"The biggest damage to Gandhi Maidan is caused by political parties holding rallies," Singh said.
"During political rallies and religious functions organised by different groups, food packets are served to people. Many a time people threw the food packets on the ground and it is seldom cleaned up," he added.
Bihar Players Association president Mritunjay Tiwari said: "The district administration in the name of beautification of Gandhi Maidan erected internal roads using sand and stone chips, removing the grass. It is dangerous for sportspersons."
If the administration wants internal roads and pathways at Gandhi Maidan, they must be made with sand and grass, he said.
Tiwari said the Samiti recently held a meeting with the district magistrate to tell him about residents' grouses over how the ground is being used.
The Samiti has convened a meeting next Sunday where eminent residents such as doctors, engineers and advocates will discuss ways to preserve the Gandhi Maidan.