Millennium Post

KMC challenge: Some seek entry to Citizens' Park after 8 pm

Kolkata: The Kolkata Municipal Corporation is facing an unusual problem after taking over the maintenance of Citizens' Park, popularly known as Mohor Kunja, a few months back from the private company that was responsible for the upkeep of the park.

Security guards in the park are facing a daunting task to prevent the entry of some 20-25 odd sex workers, who have been pressing the authorities to be allowed inside the park after 8 pm.

"Security guards have complained of manhandling and intimidation from these sex workers, who live in nearby areas. These sex workers have been claiming that they were allowed to enter the park after the visiting hours, which ends at 8 pm.

Almost every evening, they reach the gates of the park and urge the security guards to allow them to enter the park. But, according to rules we cannot allow entry to the park after 8 pm. We have lodged a complaint with Maidan police station and have urged the officers to take necessary measures in this regard," an official in the Parks and Gardens department of the civic body said.

The Kolkata Municipal Corporation had taken over the maintenance of the park situated on Cathedral Road opposite to the Nandan complex, a few months back from a private company that took charge in 2015.

The company was supposed to maintain the park for five years under the condition that it cannot plan any commercial venture within the park. However in March, the company wrote to the Director General of Parks and Garden department of the civic body expressing its eagerness to move out of the contract.

Following this KMC took over the upkeep of the park that was established in 2005. It was one of the most vaunted projects of the erstwhile Trinamool Congress board with Subrata Mukherjee as the Mayor. It was first named as Citizens Park but Mukherjee's successor Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya, Mayor of the Left Board renamed the park as Mohor Kunja in 2007 to honour Rabindra Sangeet expert Kanika Bandopadhyay and handed over its maintenance to Bengal Shelter, a private construction company.

However, neglect in maintenance particularly of the musical fountain in the park prompted the KMC board under former Mayor Sovan Chatterjee to take over its maintenance in the middle of 2010. The civic body continued till Reliance Industries proposed to take over its maintenance in 2015. The proposal was accepted by Chatterjee.

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