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CM?s baby wants 18 acres for playmates

DESPITE STAKING its claim to being one of the biggest parks in the country, the 100-acre Lohia Park with all its lush green environs may be a morning-walkers delight but it is yet to find the fancy of the kids.

india Updated: May 15, 2006 00:39 IST

DESPITE STAKING its claim to being one of the biggest parks in the country, the 100-acre Lohia Park with all its lush green environs may be a morning-walkers delight but it is yet to find the fancy of the kids. 

Reason: The park has nothing to offer by way of fun and amusement to children for whom such outings are always a source of entertainment.

In fact, this was precisely the first hand feedback given to Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav by visitors to the park when he (the CM) had gone for an evening stroll there on May 8, 2005. A year later, the seeds of the idea seem to be germinating. After all, ever since the State Government made its intention known that it wanted both the UP Badminton Academy (UPBA) and Power Corporation’s sub-station land in the vicinity for the park’s expansion, the question being asked is what would it do with it.

And though the land deal with both the UP Badminton Academy and the UPPCL is yet to be inked, the caretakers of the park project have already put on their thinking caps on how best to utilize the additional acres. This, according to them, includes 10 acres of UPBA and 8 acres of the power sub-station land. “The unfinished badminton academy building and the power sub-station were the only eyesores in the park’s surrounding area. Once they are removed, we would consult the park’s architect on how to blend the extra land with Lohia Park,” said an LDA official.

“We have two-options. Either pull down the amphitheatre-like badminton academy building or utilise it for erecting a musical fountain to add yet another attraction and enhance the park’s appeal,” he added. The Lucknow Municipal Corporation had installed the city’s first musical fountain with much fanfare sometime back in Rajajipuram. It is a different matter that neither music nor water has ever come out of it.

So, what about the power-sub station land? “We plan to develop that area as the park’s amusement section and fulfill the long-pending demand made by the visitors/children to the CM,” said another senior LDA officer requesting anonymity. The then LDA chief engineer had, in fact, gone to see the fun-area especially developed for children in the famous Ramoji Park in Hyderabad but the idea was put on hold, he informed.

Why the delay? “The LDA has offered 7.9 acres and 2.5 acres of land in Vijayant and Vibhuti Khand of Gomti Nagar respectively to the UPBA. But the agreement is yet to be put down in black and white,” said an officer, who participated in the high-level meeting chaired by the chief secretary in this connection recently. “The final nod has to be given by the CM and we are keeping our fingers crossed,” he said.