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HindustanTimes Tue,16 Sep 2014

Relief in storeas dharna sthal may finally be shifted

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Lucknow, February 14, 2013
First Published: 15:52 IST(14/2/2013) | Last Updated: 16:05 IST(14/2/2013)

The state capital may finally get rid of frequent traffic snarls due to protests at the dharna sthal opposite the Vidhan Bhawan. District authorities are contemplating to use Jhulelal Park near Lucknow University for ‘small protests’ and the Ramabai Ambedkar rally ground for the ‘bigger ones’.

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A proposal prepared by the administration in this regard would be sent to the government for final approval. If approved, it would end the authorities’ flip-flop on whether or not to shift the dharna sthal from its present location opposite the Vidhan Bhawan.

“Frequent protests on the Vidhan Sabha Marg often choke the city. The administration will send a proposal to use Jhulelal Park for smaller demonstrations and Ramabai Park for bigger protests/rallies. The state government will take the final call,” said Sanjay Dubey, divisional commissioner, on Wednesday. He chaired the meeting of the six-member committee constituted by the state government to suggest an alternative site for relocating the dharna sthal.

The proposal has also fixed a limit of 2,500 people for the protests at Jhulelal Park. Any public meeting expected to draw crowds in excess would be held at Ramabai rally Maidan on Jail Road.

Public inconvenience apart, another reason for the move is the estate department’s expansion plan for its councillors’ residence building (Dar-ul-Shafa).
“Yes, the idea to build new residential blocks to increase the accommodation was mooted some time ago, but the proposal is still under consideration. The LDA and the LMC have already prepared a plan for improving traffic flow on Vidhan Sabha Marg,” said Anurag Yadav, district magistrate, who also attended the meeting.

It is pertinent to mention that Jhulelal Park was developed as dharna sthal a few years ago at a cost of Rs. 3 crore near Hanuman Setu. This 25,000sq m land has the capacity to accommodate a 30,000-strong crowd, according to officials.

Given the regular inconveniences faced by commuters due to protests, the proposal can come as a sigh of relief for the city.


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