‘Speed up repair of reservoir at Mohammad Ali Park’
The Calcutta High Court has directed the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) to speed up the repair work of the underground water reservoir at Mohammad Ali Park and ensure that the work is completed within a period of three months.
The Division Bench of Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court TS Sivagnanam and Justice Hiranmay Bhattacharya was hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking restoration of Mohammed Ali Park so that it can be used by the general public. It was also stated that during Durga Puja festival, pandals are erected in the area for people to offer their prayers.
The advocate appearing for KMC submitted that there is an underground water reservoir, which is under the control of the Water Supply Department of the KMC, situated in the area where the park exists. The park has been closed for access to the general public as the underground water reservoir is being repaired.
The court observed that if an area is earmarked as a park, then the local body should maintain the same without affecting its characteristics. However, they also considered that the water reservoir is required for the public good and that it should be maintained in a proper manner. Hence, the court ordered: “Accordingly, there will be a direction to the respondents/Kolkata Municipal Corporation to speed up the repair work of the underground water reservoir in the Mohammad Ali Park and ensure that the work is completed preferably within a period of three months from the date of receipt of server copy of this order and after which the park shall be restored to its original.”
Last year, KMC had suggested to the puja organisers of Mohammad Ali Park to construct their pandal in a portion of the ground where there is no underground reservoir. They could construct the pandal over 10 feet space in the parks and the boundary wall of the park along with iron railing which is approximately another five feet could be used. The organisers were asked to take measures to ensure there is no encroachment of pandal hoppers in the area where the underground reservoir is situated.