NEW DELHI: Two years ago, the Deen Dayal Upadhyay Public Park was a bustling den of drug addicts and anti-social elements who were a threat to the safety of visitors. Today, thanks to the swanky BJP headquarters that has sprung up bang opposite it, the park has undergone a major facelift and is in the process of being spruced up further.
Sources said that BJP national president Amit Shah had himself come to the park a couple of times in recent months to take stock of how the revamp and beautification work was progressing. People living close by have commented that they have not seen such attention being focused on the park in a very long time.
Here’s what Acharya Bhadri, who lives in the Arya Samaj temple complex near the boundary of the park, had to say, “I have been living here for 19 years but have never ever seen such care or attention being given by the authorities for the upkeep of the park. Whatever may be the reason, the park needed maintenance and it is happening now, which is good.”
The park, which has not been opened to visitors yet but could be inaugurated within a week, now wears a well-maintained look. There are large expanses of grass lined by flowers beds with colourful blooms, well-laid walking tracks and several other plants and bushes with their full names put up alongside. Two mini-forests, where shrubs and bushes will be planted in the shape of sun signs and as pilgrimage spots, have been demarcated and work started.
There are also playing areas for children with different types of swings, including the bucket-shaped ones that are safer for younger kids. The main entrance gate has been painted a bright red, and has a guard’s room close by. The only footbridge across the Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg has an entrance into the park.
“The park has seen a major change in the last three months. Almost one lakh saplings of flowering plants have been brought in and 30 people are working day and night to get the park up and ready for inauguration. BJP Chief Amit Shah came twice to take stock of things and also plant a few saplings,” Jitendra, the park supervisor, said.
The Central Public Works Department, which is in charge of the park, has contracted a private company for its maintenance and security for five years. A new block that houses a surveillance room having 16 closed-circuit TVs, a CPWD office and washrooms has been built.