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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 23 July 2024

Kolkata Mounted Police seek nod for paddock shift to enable Joka-Esplanade Metro construction

'Since the army is the custodian of the Maidan, we have sought an NOC for the proposed shifting of the paddock. The new site will measure close to 2,100 sq m, compared to 7,200 sq m of the existing one near Manohar Das Tarag,' a senior police officer said

Kinsuk Basu Calcutta Published 09.05.24, 07:30 AM
Representational image

Representational image File picture

The Kolkata Mounted Police, the country’s oldest mounted police division, has sought a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the army to relocate its paddock, north of Manohar Das Tarag on the Maidan, to a plot south of Shaheed Minar.

The proposed shift will be to facilitate the construction of the Esplanade Metro station on the Joka-Esplanade corridor. The paddock will be moved back to its original location once the construction is completed.

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A drawing of the proposed paddock has also been sent to the RVNL, the executing agency of the proposed Joka-Esplanade Metro corridor, for its approval.

The letter seeking the NOC and the drawing proposal follow a recent joint inspection by the local military authority (LMA), police, the PWD and railway arm RVNL of the land parcel for temporary relocation, senior police officers said.

At a meeting on April 25, senior officials of the state government met RVNL officials, the LMA, the police, the Kolkata Municipal Corporation, the PWD and the forests department to discuss the relocation of the paddock, among other things.

The participants agreed that the paddock of the mounted police would temporarily be shifted to a parcel of land south of Shaheed Minar. Once the construction of the
Esplanade Metro station is completed, the paddock will be shifted back to its original location, it was unanimously decided.

“Since the army is the custodian of the Maidan, we have sought an NOC for the proposed shifting of the paddock. The new site will measure close to 2,100 sq m, compared to 7,200 sq m of the existing one near Manohar Das Tarag,” a senior police officer said. “We have sent a drawing of the proposed paddock at the new location with a provision for a sand track, a square area, a 10m circle and scope for other arrangements to train horses to the RVNL.”

Set up in 1840, the Kolkata Mounted Police used to train some of its horses at the
Royal Calcutta Turf Club ground before shifting to a dedicated paddock in the Maidan in 2006. The unit with 69 horses has two stables — one at the Alipore Body Guard Lines and the other on SN Banerjee Road. The mounted police are primarily deployed to regulate crowds on the Maidan during sporting events and fairs.

“The horses need regular exercises to remain fit for their daily duties. They must trot on sand stretches and sprint down long tracks for daily fitness. A paddock is very crucial for the horses,” the officer said.

The proposed Esplanade station would be the terminal station of the 16km Joka-Esplanade corridor, which is now functional on an 8km elevated stretch between Joka and Majerhat. The 6km underground section is from Mominpore to Esplanade.

Esplanade is being built as a multi-modal transport hub connected to three Metro
links — North-South (Blue Line), East-West (Green Line) and Joka-Esplanade (Purple Line).

Work on the remaining part of the Metro link between Mominpore and Esplanade has begun and a patch of the Maidan, opposite the Victoria Memorial, has been barricaded for construction of the Victoria station. Some clubs around Park Street have been vacated to facilitate the construction work of the Metro line.

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