September 20, 2020

Diwas still ails city’s lungs

Patna: When Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu inaugurated the Bihar Diwas celebrations at Gandhi Maidan on March 22, he shot off an acronym he had earlier coined: That CITY means Civic Infrastructure to You. Five days after the three-day Diwas celebrations got over, it is clear that the CITY has failed the state’s capital city’s lungs, Gandhi Maidan.

Trash – from torn banners to remains of the barricades – left over from the events is still littered around the iconic green stretch.

“The area where the event was held is full of residues of the event,” said Avinash Kumar, who had gone for a morning walk at the Maidan on Thursday. “The stench makes you want to puke.”

Another morning jogger, Santosh, said: “It is not possible to sit on the grass. The officials and authorities responsible should clean up the area as soon as possible.”

Patna divisional commissioner Anand Kishor, who heads the body that looks after the Maidan, said: “The responsibility to clean the dirt and filth lies with the organisers of the event.

“They should come up to clean the area; if they did not take any action the city administration will talk to them,” Kishor added.

The organiser of the event was the Bihar Diwas celebrations was the Bihar Education Project Council (BEPC), an agency under the education department.

Sanjay Singh, state project director, BEPC, said: “The matter has come to our notice and we will communicate with the vendors to clean the area.”

He, however did not give any time frame of when the clean-up would happen.

The 106th foundation day of the state this year celebrated the legacy of the Champaran Satyagraha and the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi with full zeal.

However, Bapu would surely have been aghast at the mess spread in every corner where the Diwas celebrations were held.

The laxness in cleaning up after a much-touted event, besides being a damning indictment of the lack of civic administration, also shows why Patna’s ranking in the national cleanliness survey continues to be abysmal.

Last year Patna ranked 262nd out of 434 cities in the Swachhta Survekshan by the Union Ministry of Urban Development and Quality Council of India as part of the Clean India Mission.

During the Bihar Diwas celebrations, the events, speeches, stalls, etc, all drummed up the legacy of Gandhi-led movements in Bihar and the country.

However, Gandhi had also said that cleanliness is next to godliness, and there are many legendary stories about what a stickler for hygiene he was.

Clearly, the Bihar Diwas organisers and the city civic administration have failed to learn one of the Mahatma’s most important teachings.

Courtesy: The Telegraph

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