The park was supposed to be along the lines of London’s Hyde Park and New York’s Central Park but the residents have upped the ante against its construction.
Last month, union minister of state for housing and urban development, Hardeep Singh Puri, announced a plan to develop Dwarka’s Bharat Vandana Udhyan into a theme park on par with international standards. The park, would have been based on the concept of a mini-India representing all states and spread over 200 acres – an area equal to two Jawaharlal Nehru stadiums.
“All big cities in the world have parks that are major attraction for tourists and locals. Bharat Vandana Park will be developed as Delhi’s biggest park with several features to attract tourists and locals,” said a senior DDA official, requesting anonymity.
The objective behind such a park is to enhance the quality of outdoor experience, while making sure that the design, development, and maintenance is socially, economically and environmentally sustainable. This plan has, since then, hit a roadblock.
Protesting activist forums and locals have opposed such a plan due to the increased ‘concretization’ taking place in Dwarka, a result of the various infrastructure projects coming up in the area. This has led to an increase in air pollution at an alarming rate. They want the area to be developed as a ‘green zone’.
The protestors have sought a meeting with Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, demanding that the green patch should be developed into a biodiversity park or a city forest which would ensure preservation of local ecology and help curb pollution. Residents have expressed their discontentment over the DDA’s neglect of their demands and going ahead with the proposed plan.
“We will form a human chain at the spot and stage a protest demonstration against the DDA’s plan to turn this patch into a theme park with concrete structures. We have been trying to meet the L-G over the issue. We have been campaigning for developing a forest in the area, as it would serve as green lungs for Dwarka,” said Diwan Singh, an environment activist.
To give voice to their demands, and bring attention to the issue, residents from Dwarka and nearby residential neighbourhoods such as Janakpuri, Palam, Uttam Nagar as well as adjoining villages (Kakrola, Nawada and Matiala), will form a human chain at the park this Sunday.
By Abhijeet Pandey