September 30, 2020

Curtains for Patna Haat at Maidan

Patna: The Sri Krishna Smarak Vikas Samiti, which looks after the upkeep of Gandhi Maidan and the SK Memorial Hall, on Thursday cancelled the work order for Patna Haat – The Art Village at Gandhi Maidan.

Around 50 stalls that made up the shopping area – which was developed on the pattern of Dilli Haat in the national capital in a bid to turn Gandhi Maidan into a city square – will be removed. The reason: the agency entrusted with the Haat has not paid the promised money to the government.

“On April 16, we issued a show-cause notice to the agency, asking them to remove the stalls as they are unable to run them,” said Patna divisional commissioner Anand Kishor, who heads the Samiti. “They haven’t even deposited the amount listed at the time of bidding. I am also issuing an order today (Thursday) to seize the security deposits.”

The stalls mostly sold handicraft and handloom products, including by Bihari artisans. The canopy stalls, however, failed to draw enough customers. The stalls, which also showcased products from Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh, did little business. The stall owners blame lack of publicity for the Haat never really taking off.

Products available at the Haat included Madhubani paintings, Khatwa appliqué work, Bhagalpuri silk ware, Sikki craft, Tikuli paintings, stone-craft, bamboo-craft, Manjusha paintings, jute products, woodcraft, terracotta, lac bangles, brass items, and Sujni embroidery.

Kishor cited revenue loss for cancellation of licence.

“The agency was supposed to deposit money but it failed to do so,” Kishor said. “The work was awarded to the agency for being the highest bidder. But it failed to pay even the bidding amount. We were so badly hit by revenue losses that we decided to cancel the work order.”

He promised that “something good” would come up on the 62-acre ground in the coming days.

Patna Haat was developed by the private agency Mahabodi, which spent Rs 35 lakh on the stalls.

Gandhi Maidan has gone through many changes in the past two years, and now has separate open gyms for men and women, high-power lights, and karate and yoga stages.

Courtesy: The Telegraph

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