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Two statues installed at Asita for beautification

Jun 09, 2024 05:36 AM IST

Officials said that these statues have been erected and installed over pre-existing natural mounds in the park

The Asita East Biodiversity Park, one of the 10 floodplain revival projects under the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), has been beautified with two statues, lieutenant governor VK Saxena’s office said on Saturday.

A sculpture of the Buddha created by Padma Vibhushan awardee Sudarshan Sahoo. The Asita East Biodiversity Park was formerly a dumping ground that has been restored. (HT PHOTO)
A sculpture of the Buddha created by Padma Vibhushan awardee Sudarshan Sahoo. The Asita East Biodiversity Park was formerly a dumping ground that has been restored. (HT PHOTO)

The statues — the first of the Buddha, and the second a replica of the Sun God from Konark temple in Odisha — were sculpted by Padma Vibhushan awardee Sudarshan Sahoo, who also created more than two dozen stone sculptures placed across various locations in Delhi ahead of the G20 summit last year, officials in the LG’s office said.

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“These statues have been erected and installed over pre-existing natural mounds in the park, to ensure no disturbance to the existing landscape and terrain,” an official said, on condition of anonymity.

Asita is another name of the Yamuna, taken from ancient Indian literature. The biodiversity park is spread over an area of about 200 hectares from the Old Railway Bridge to ITO barrage on the eastern bank of Yamuna, of which 90 hectares is with DDA, and the remaining is with the Uttar Pradesh irrigation department, but is also being restored by DDA.

A former dumping ground which was restored and inaugurated in September 2022, Saxena had hosted delegates from 11 countries for one of the G20-related meetings at Asita East in March last year.

Later, the area was completely submerged during the July 2023 floods, making it marshy for several months, but now has been revived for visitors again.

“The entire area used to be encroached till a couple of years ago, with jhuggis, illegal commercial animal husbandry, and agriculture activities. We got at least 3,000 such jhuggis removed. The area has been repossessed and planned following principles of ecological restoration. Multiple layers of ecological planting over time have made the revival of the riverine ecosystem possible. The recent floods have done more good than damage,” said a senior DDA official.

Asita will also soon have an “eatery on wheels”, set to be created in an unused wagon procured from the Indian Railways, officials from the LG office said.

“The aim is to create no permanent structure on the floodplain and at the same time, provide visitors with a delightful dining experience. This, in turn, will bring the people of Delhi closer to the river, in the process ensuring that they themselves become vanguards against pollution in the river,” the official quoted above said.

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