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Robbers flee with art installations from Meerut crossing

The beautification drive at Meerut crossing was completed only last week.

noida Updated: Sep 06, 2018 07:06 IST
Peeyush Khandelwal
Peeyush Khandelwal
Hindustan Times, Ghaziabad
Meerut crossing,Ghaziabad Development Authority,potted plants
Thieves are making off with art installations, solar panels and streetlights and other street furniture.(Sakib Ali /HT Photo)

Installations meant to beautify Meerut crossing are the latest target of robbers. A gang escaped with the metal sculptureof a deer family which was to be installed at the site as part of the Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA)’s beautification drive. The authority has lodged a police complaint after such incidents became frequent in the city.

The incident took place on the night of September 3. Two unidentified men on a scooter tried to take away the installation but a security guard, Rajesh Kumar, managed to foil their plans. However, the men returned a couple of hours later and stole the sculpture which was to be installed on a cement platform at the Meerut crossing.

“We have filed a police complaint. The stolen installation was procured at a cost of about ₹85,000 . Such incidents are on the rise in the city. In one such incident, some persons arrived in cars and took away multiple potted plants from the vertical garden set up at Meerut crossing,” an authority official said.

“On the Sadarpur road, near Madhuban Bapudham, thieves tried to pick up pots of ornamental plants kept on the central verge, but were unable to do so.These pots are heavy and so they left them damaged,” the official said.

The authority officials said they had also put up nearly 340 hanging baskets on the Hindon elevated road.

“However, some miscreants took made off with several of the baskets kept on the elevated road and also from the Karhera to Hindon airbase road,” he said.

The beautificaion drive at Meerut crossing was completed and dedicated only last week. The authority had announced that it will spend ₹2 crore for installing vertical gardens and painting Metro and elevated corridor pillars. However, theft is one of the major reason that is keeping private players from taking up contracts.

Sources said no agency has so far come up to take up the work of installing vertical gardens as the authority also insists on the maintenance clause in the contract.

It is an issue which we will have to deal with. We have issued four or five bids for vertical gardening but no one has turned up so far. It is also because vertical gardens are difficult to maintain,” Ritu Maheshwari, vice-chairperson of the authority, said.

The beautification and greenery drive by the authority has been taken up on seven road stretches of Apsara border to Lal Kuan, Thakudwara to Dasna Gate, Tigri roundabout to Vijay Nagar, Meerut crossing to NH-24, Raj Nagar Extension to Karhera rotary, Lohiya Nagar industrial area and Hindon airbase road near Mohan Nagar.

Jaikaran Singh, SHO of Kotwali police station, said an FIR was lodged after the authority forwarded a complaint on Tuesday.

Earlier, the newly opened Eastern Peripheral Expressway was the favourite haunt of thieves. Thieves had made away with solar panels, streetlights, generator sets and even the iron fencing and fixtures of the expressway.

First Published: Sep 06, 2018 07:03 IST