On January 1, New Town’s Eco Park recorded a footfall of 1.40 lakh, creating an all-time record.
On December 25 last year, over 99,000 people had visited Eco Park, New Town’s fast-growing tourist spot, which was renamed ‘Prakriti Tirtha’ by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. It may be recalled that over a lakh people had visited Eco Park on January 1, 2016. Around 4,000 people also visited Mother’s Wax Museum on Sunday.
Cleanliness is a USP of Eco Park. Though over a lakh people came to the tourist attraction, no plastic cups and/or containers were seen thrown outside waste bins nor was anybody caught littering in the open. Any offender, if caught, is fined Rs 100 by the West Bengal Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation (HIDCO).
Senior HIDCO officials make surprise visits to the park to ensure that conservancy workers are cleaning the area. Thanks to maintenance of strict vigil, not a single case of eve-teasing or drunken brawls between groups was reported in the area, which has become common in places where many people gather on particular days.
In addition to CCTV cameras, watch towers have been installed to be on the lookout for those who create trouble. The sweeping work in the Park starts early morning and by 9 am the entire area covering around 400 acres is cleaned. No reports of damage to trees planted in various gardens are reported. People are also seen standing in queues waiting for their turn to travel in the replica of Darjeeling’s toy train.
After coming to power in 2011, Banerjee requested HIDCO officials to make plans to beautify the vast areas surrounding the water body, which covers 112 acres and accordingly plans were made.
The park has different gardens, of which Mist Garden is the most popular. A Japanese garden is also coming up and statues of Buddha have been installed. There will be a pagoda, a Japanese restaurant and the entire area will be decorated with lights.
Café Ekante and houseboat restaurants have also become quite popular. To promote Bengali delicacies among visitors, a misti hub is coming up near Eco Park where all the well-known sweet shops will have their units.
A miniature set-up of the Seven Wonders of the World is also under construction. The Chief Minister had asked HIDCO officials to set up structure so that those who enjoy travelling can get an idea of the important tourist sites around the world.
Steps have been taken to increase the green cover of New Town.
Children’s park and senior citizen’s parks have come up in the area, along with a pet’ park.