THAT THE municipal corporation is encouraging circuses to hold shows in City is praiseworthy. But, approving Yadgar-e-Shajehani Park as venue is distressing. Unlike New Bhopal, parks in old city are rare.
Worse, they are not properly looked after. This Park is one of the few in the old city catering to the needs of the area and attendants of Sultania Zenana Hospital patients. If a circus attracts hundreds of visitors for days, one can imagine the park’s plight.
Obviously, BMC brass have forgotten that on World Environment Day (June 5, 2005) in celebrations at San Francisco, mayors from world-over signed Urban Environmental Accords, pledging to ‘ensure an accessible public park or recreational open space within half a kilometre of every citizen by 2015’.
Everyone understands that is impossible in old city, unless some built-up areas are razed. The Mayor had promised that he would ensure proper maintenance and improvements of existing parks to make Bhopal green. Even under Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission, he should bring about environmental improvements. All those assurances seem to have been forgotten and a heritage park has been allowed to be depredated by a circus.
Now the deed is done, the Mayor would do well to commence the park’s revival after the circus moves. As compensation, he should take prompt action to develop another park at an appropriate place in old city. Even Iqbal Maidan could be considered for greening and beautification. Surrounded as it is by heritage buildings, it should make an ideal ‘green lung’.