Monday, January 9, 2012

[ZESTCaste] Wait gets longer for Maya’s dream park

Wait gets longer for Maya's dream park
Darpan Singh, Hindustan Times
Noida, January 08, 2012

Despite an expenditure of R685 crore, the dream of the Mayawati
administration to open the grand Rashtriya Dalit Prerna Sthal and
Green Garden in Noida for the general public and "woo Dalit voters in
Western Uttar Pradesh" during the assembly elections still remains
unfulfilled. Now that
the Election Commission has ordered that statutes of Mayawati and
those of elephants, the election symbol of her Bahujan Samaj Party
(BSP), be covered, the park would remain closed till the elections are

The chief minister had inaugurated the memorial in October last year,
but it could not be opened for the public because some facilities were
yet to be put in place. The administration has planned a ticket-based
entry for visitors.

Similar parks and memorials had been constructed in Lucknow but the
one in Noida was meant for people living in western UP and areas
bordering Delhi. The monument is dedicated to Dalit icons, and has
been constructed "to honour their unparalleled struggle for social

The construction began in 2008. A group of residents moved court,
objecting to a large number of trees being cut. The park's proximity
to the Okhla Bird Sanctuary became another legal objection.

But in December 2011, the Supreme Court, which had stopped the
construction because of environmental concerns, cleared the project
with certain riders. The government maintained 75% of the total area
as green.

The government planted 7,600 trees and 1.5 lakh shrubs of 75 varieties
in the park on the eastern banks of the Yamuna in Sector 95.

The memorial has the statues of 15 Dalit icons, including two of
Mayawati herself. There are 20 elephant statues. Besides, 16 elephants
each adorn the two fountains.

The two gates have four elephants each. Elephant statues adorn numerous pillars.


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