Wednesday, June 8, 2011

[ZESTCaste] Buddhist theme park at Futala in cold storage

Buddhist theme park at Futala in cold storage
TNN | Jun 8, 2011, 02.14am IST

NAGPUR: On December 23, 2009, the then chief minister Ashok Chavan on
December 23, 2009 announced during the assembly session in Nagpur that
a Buddhist theme park would be set up at Telangkhedi lake.

The park, part of Chavan's Rs 10,000 crore 'Vidarbha Package', was to
be set up in three years. The project was to be monitored by the chief
secretary and a provision of Rs 3.30 crore was also promised.

Two-and-a-half years on, the proposed park seems to have been dumped
in cold storage.

Information sought under the RTI Act by Prakash Bansod, president of
Dalit Panther of India, says the Buddhist theme park finds no place in
the administrative sanction to various works to be undertaken for
tourism development this year.

Information sought by Bansod from the tourism department states that
government has made a provision of over Rs 27 crore this year for
tourism development. Of this, a provision of Rs 1 crore has been made
to develop Futala or Telangkhedi lake.

The works to be done by the PWD includes some construction and digging
works, granite flooring, benches, interlocking paver blocks etc.
However, Buddhist park finds no mention, indicating that the project
was just a hollow promise.

"The Congress has fooled the Dalit people by making a fake promise.
The then chief minister had also announced Rs 50 lakh for
redevelopment of museum in the city but no financial provision has
been made," alleged Bansod.

On the contrary, Sunil Gujjalwar, superintending engineer of Nagpur
Improvement Trust (NIT), says the minor works sanctioned at Futala
this year have nothing to do with the theme park.

"The Buddhist theme park is a long-term mega project which will
require at least Rs 100 crore. The NIT is in process of preparing
expression of interest and a survey is being done. Such projects
cannot be completed overnight," Gujjalwar stressed.

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