Friday, August 15, 2014

Statue of Vivekananda unveiled

A statue of Vivekananda leading four persons from different religions was unveiled today  by General Secretary of Ramakrishna Mission Swami Suhitananda. He was accompanied by Santanu Maharaj and Swami Guridasanada. The statue points towards the site of Vivekananda University. It is near gate number 1 of Eco Park. The idea is that the Vivekananda University building - on which Ramakrishna Mission is already working in the design stage - will be made in the model of Chicago University where Swamiji attended the World Parliament of Religions and the statue of Vivekananda is leading a Hindu, a Muslim, a Christia and a Sikh toward the university. I was informed later that Swami Suhitanada had greatly appreciated this concept. Two photos taken this morning:

Swami Sutinnda, GS, at site of statue, just after unveiling of the Statues
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The first morning walk in Eco Park was flagged of today morning by Swami Suhitananda and other Maharajs. We were about fifty of us. T-shirts and caps were gifted to all. At the request of a senior 70 plus citizen who'd come on getting an SMS, we decided to reduce the fees for senior citizens by 50% and to offer a discount for first 100 members. Two photographs:

At Entry Plaza, at end of walk.

I hoisted the national flag at the Entry plaza after a speech by Swami Suhitananda. We took an oath to try to keep Eco Park clean and not to use plastic flags.

Here is a pres clipping from today's Anandabazar:

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Here is a clipping from today's Salt Lake Telegraph:


  1. Nice to see Eco Park finally opened for morning walkers - this is really a great Independence day gift for the people of New town. The freedom to be able to walk in peaceful surroundings without the risk of being hit by speeding cars !

    Since the pathway along the lake is quite wide, bicycle riding should also be allowed in the mornings. The most eco-friendly mode of transport should be encouraged by Eco park !

    And the fees structure should be rationalized, because currently they are pretty steep. I understand the desire to keep "unwanted" crowd away, but even if fees were reduced to Rs.400 monthly for all and for senior citizens maybe Rs. 200, I am sure it would not lead to unwanted overcrowding. Also there should be family memberships available, eg. Rs 1000 for a family of 4 -2 adults and 2 children under 18.

  2. Sir,
    lot of things are happening in eco park. but we are leaving at AA IIC since 2010 and there is no market in that area. locals has occupied the hidco land and made makeshift there any update on hidco market at AA IIC?
    also nice to have a mother dairy booth,

    1. Yes lets have the markets up and running in AA2 as well as AA3. AA3 already has a large population living in Unitech, DLF and Saporji. Lets get the markets done in those areas as well. That would also generate means of livelihood for the local unemployed youth as HIDCO is creating 30% reservation for PAP folks.

      500 KW from 1 canal is awesome. Can we get solar panels installed on top of lamp posts as well as these HIDCO markets and bus terminus buildings?

      Also are we planning some solar power generation by installing panels on the wetlands? If properly executed in wetlands and other canals, ( and execution is your area of strength) , Sir, we can have 100+ MW from solar power from New Town alone and that would be a great news across the country.

  3. Sir,
    Please include the Wetlands under your ambit as an urban green space. This way it can be protected, maintained and it can also add onto the total green percentage of the city.
    Follow Mexico City as precedence, who have done impressive work on wetlands.

  4. Why is the eco park so devoid of trees? In the pic, it looks like a field on either side of the pathway. Why cant we plant some shade trees like Sirish on either side?

    1. I have noticed lot of trees have been planted all around Eco park - but guess they will take some time to grow ! 4-5 years from now it would look much more greener I believe.

    2. I am aware of the different gardens and forests setup across the park and also true that 5-10 yrs down the line this will look different, but was specifically referring to the pathway. I am not sure if you ever visit skyscrapercity blogs - because if you do, then you'll notice several aerial pics of Eco park, which clearly doesn't show any lakeside tree or pathway tree planting. What I am referring to, and ideally would love Eco Park to grow into, is like a jungle in a city and not another garden of shrubs and herbs. I think we need to make a lot more effort in that regard.

  5. Sir,

    Many wonderful initiatives and congratulations to you. But there are a few things which may not have come to your notice. Please allow me to state a few of them.

    1. Hidco has granted permission to some local youth to run the fisheries project. One such is on the storm canal in front of Rabi Rashmi/Jalvayu Towers. The boys have built temporary huts on the canal bank for supervision etc. All very well, but they are turning the area into a garbage dump too, with thermocol plates etc being scattered all over the place. Also, open defecation and urination by practically everybody.

    2. The road dividers are being beautified with lovely saplings. Unfortunately, most of them are being stolen by people without a care. They climb over the bamboo fencing and uproot the newly planted saplings and just carry them away. Shouting from my balcony has had no effect, sadly.

    The Street in front of Greenfield heights is a deathtrap after sunset, with cows, autos, two-wheelers and illegal streetside vendors jostling for space. The illegal market is expanding day by day, and haowever muh we dislike it, in view of the absence of any proper market in the near vicinity, we have no other option than to patronise it. If not reined in now, these vendors will never vacate the place.

    4. Certai ramshackle structures have also sprouted on the canal bank, namely, two so called 'Hotels', a bike repair shop, couple of Dhobi huts. While shifting to Rajarhat we had heard that the two sides of the canal are dedicated green strips and no construction will come up there. Th present situation does not relect that.

    5. The only plantation being done on the dividers are garden shrubs. I would request you to consider planting shade trees at specified gaps which will provide beauty as well as pollution protective canopy.

    Thank you for listening.

    1. I second the last point about tree planting and have been talking about it from the very first day i started following this blog. I think we need to rope in experts to design the landscaping and tree cover and not use local expertise. In fact, cities like Bangalore and Delhi have done a very good job in making several roads in the city a canopied road. I think we can do the same for New Town if we want to.