Calcutta HC forms two-member panel on upkeep of Maidan

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Kolkata, Dec 24 (PTI) The Calcutta High Court on Thursday formed a two-member committee to chalk out a plan for regular maintenance and cleaning of the Brigade Parade Ground and the extended greens, considered to be the lungs of the city.

Forming the committee comprising the West Bengal Advocate General and the Additional Solicitor General representing the Government of India, the court said that a detailed plan be indicated for preserving the Maidan area when the matter is taken up for hearing again a fortnight after the court reopens following the Christmas vacation.

The committee will coordinate with the highest state officials and the Army authorities to chalk out a plan for the regular maintenance and cleaning of the Brigade Parade Ground and the extended greens, a division bench comprising justices Sanjib Banerjee and Arijit Banerjee directed.

It was submitted on behalf of the Army authorities that though it owns the entire area, including the Brigade Parade Ground, the regular maintenance, upkeep and cleaning are undertaken by the state Public Works Department (PWD).

The high court had on Monday ordered the initiation of a suo motu public interest litigation (PIL) on the state of the Maidan, a large green stretch owned by the Army beside the Eastern Command headquarters in the heart of Kolkata, in view of garbage on the grounds and illegal parking on the roads crisscrossing it.

The bench observed that there have been noticeable changes in and around the Maidan area over the past two days with 'no-parking' signs on several lamp-posts and guardrails placed at various places along the roads, demarcating the entire zone as a no-parking area.

Noting that the ongoing festive season will draw a large number of merry-makers to the Maidan area, the court directed that the state government will make every endeavour to keep the grounds clean.

The state authorities were directed to make the snack-vendors aware of the need to maintain hygiene and cleanliness and even make public announcements so that visitors do not litter the grounds.

The court also directed that operators of horse-drawn carriages must immediately be advised to ensure appropriate sacks be used so that the horse discharge does not dirty the roads and they must be made responsible to clean the thoroughfares, the moment the same is dirtied by their horses.