THE LUCKNOW Municipal Corporation (LMC) administration and BJP leaders seem to be on a collision course on the issue of Laxman Mela Ground. While Mayor Dinesh Sharma has already demanded that the old Laxman Mela Ground be restored to its original form, deputy mayor Abhay Seth has triggered off a fresh controversy by insisting to hold former prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee’s birthday bash at the venue.
The LMC’s problem is that it has already carried out extensive plantation at the site that makes it almost impossible to hold any public function on the mela ground. On Thursday, Seth rang up municipal commissioner RB Maurya requesting that the ground be provided for the former PM’s birthday celebration on December 25. The municipal commissioner offered an alternative venue. The deputy mayor, however, refused to budge from his demand. So what would happen to the trees that have been planted all over the mela ground? Would they then be chopped off to make way for the function? It was now the turn of municipal commissioner to put his foot down.
“I am not going to uproot the trees that I got planted with my own hands. If the BJP leaders still insists on holding the function there, the venue would be made available to them,” he said. Stating that he was yet to receive any request for the allotment of old Laxman Mela Ground for Vajpayee’s birthday celebrations, Mayor Dinesh Sharma said the trees could be rearranged to hold the event and restore the venue to its original form.
Here it is pertinent to mention that the State Government had sanctioned Rs 96 lakh to the LMC to relocate the Laxman Mela Ground to an open stretch on Gomti banks near the Bhaisakund. The original site was made part of the Gomti River Front Development and Beautification scheme, a baby of the Urban Development Minister Mohd Azam Khan. LMC has already spent approximately Rs 9 lakh on the development of the new alternative venue. But with Mayor Sharma questioning the move and insisting that the old venue be maintained as it was during the BJP’s regime, LMC’s problem seems to be far from over.