Children’s park of city centre Durgapur draws contoversy

Arrest of three drunken youths from the prohibited zone of Durgapur’s Sub-Divisional Magistrate’s office and the ACJM Court at City Centre area of Durgapur once again sparked off controversy surrounding the use of a children’s park for organizing marriage party. The Asansol Durgapur Development Authority (ADDA), who owned the park, faced severe criticism as it allowed the private operator to rent out the park premises as marriage hall. First such function was organized on 30th November by the private operator to whom the park has been leased out against payment of Rs 1.50 lakh per booking. ADDA, in the face of criticism, had earlier stated that it would summon the private operator and would take stern action after looking into the matter in details.
Police while patrolling the area on the night of 3rd February, arrested three drunken youths seen consuming liquor in the prohibited zone of local Sub-Divisional Magistrate’s office and the court of Durgapur ACJM and were invited guests of the marriage party held within the park premises. Ajay Kumar of Uttar Pradesh, Praveen Kumar of Rajasthan and Raju Pal of Durgapur’s Benachity, were seen consuming alcohol sitting inside a luxurious vehicle parked within the prohibited administrative office complex, police said. Four other offenders, however, gave police the slip when a police vehicle arrived there. The accused were businessmen and sons of businessmen of the locality.
They had all come to attend the marriage party of trader Bibhor Khandelwal’s family. Yesterday they were released on personal bail bond.
But the matter didn’t end here. The midnight marriage party triggered off controversy in the town as it was organized in a round-shaped hall erected in the middle of a conventional water body flouting the stipulations of Inland Fisheries Act, 1984. The leased private operator of the children’s park in order to make the park condition suit marriage parties has erected a round-shaped concrete hall in the middle of the water body stretched across 2 acres. The water body has been a part of the children’s park since 1978. The erection of the concrete structure, according to senior officials of district Fisheries department, “was in contravention of the provisions under Sections 17-A (1) of Inland Fisheries Act, 1984, which restrains any alteration, modification and structure on a water body where water reserve is witnessed at least for six months.” Mr. Sajal Ghosh, District Fisheries Officer, said: “We got a tip-off and would seek explanation from the respective authority.”
Mrs. Antara Acharya, CEO of ADDA, said: “The private operator was told to seek prior permission before allowing such function there and was also told to restrict the revelers’ movements within the premises under any circumstances.” She however reserved her comments on the allegation raised by district Fisheries department.

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