Traffic crawls near Dalit Prerna Sthal, visitors say park in need of upkeep
Visitors who turned up at the Prerna Sthal to pay homage to Ambedkar complained about the poor maintenance of the park, which was constructed in 2011 during the tenure of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) government, to signify the aspirations and struggles of the marginalised community
Thousands of visitors from six circles of Uttar Pradesh converged at the Rashtriya Dalit Prerna Sthal on Wednesday to mark the death anniversary of Dalit leader and architect of the Indian Constitution, Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar.
Owing to the large number of people and their vehicles, traffic crawled near Sthal between 10am and noon and also in the evening, said Noida traffic police.
Visitors who turned up at the Prerna Sthal to pay homage to Ambedkar complained about the poor maintenance of the park, which was constructed in 2011 during the tenure of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) government, to signify the aspirations and struggles of the marginalised community.
Rakesh Kumar, a resident of Greater Noida, who came to attend the programme at Dalit Prerna Sthal, said, “We noticed that the ivory tusks of two elephant statues installed at the park were missing. The authorities are neglecting the park and they must work on its maintenance.”
Vikas Mehra, a resident of Delhi, who also came to pay tribute to Ambedkar, said, “I was shocked to see the lack of maintenance at the park. There is garbage lying around everywhere,” he said, adding that the Noida authority must open a cafeteria inside the campus for the benefit of visitors.
Parul Sen, manager of Rashtriya Dalit Prerna Sthal, said Lucknow-based Smarak Samiti looks after the maintenance. “We have informed them about the damage and the repair works are ongoing.”
“The Sthal’s dome is getting repaired, and in a few months, the missing tusks will also be fixed,” said Sen.
Sen said that last month, they introduced QR code-based payment system for ticketing. “The price of a single ticket was revised from ₹15 to ₹20 last month. The government earns nearly ₹6 lakh a month from this park. The Sthal currently employs 200 people,” Sen said.
Deputy commissioner of police, traffic, Anil Kumar Yadav said, ‘We deployed additional police personnel to ease traffic congestion in the area, and they stepped in restore smooth flow every time a congestion was reported.”
But commuters had a different experience on Wednesday.
Manoj Kumar Gautam, a resident of Badalpur in Greater Noida, said, “I got stuck in traffic around 10am when I was on the way to Sthal and remained stuck till noon.”