685 crores for a park, Is it justified?

Our politicians have done it again. The honorable Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh unveiled the controversial Rashtriya Dalit Smarak in Noida amid much fan-fare. The park built on sprawling 33 hectares of land with more than 2 dozen statues of the respectable B.R Ambedkar, Kanshi Ram and last but not the least of MS. Mayawati cost the exchequer a whooping 685 crores.

At a time when the state is gripped under the clutches of encephalitis, the question that every citizen of this great country is bound to ask is, whether it was necessary to spend such an enormous amount of public money on parks and statues. The government after coming under heavy fire from the opposition finally allocated a mere 18 crores for a 100 bed ward to deal with encephalitis related cases. Can you believe it 685 crores for a park and a mere 18 crores for ending an epidemic?

According to a recent media report more than 500 children have lost their lives because of this disease and the numbers are bound to swell, if corrective measures aren’t taken at the earliest. Though the state’s economy is growing at a steady rate, but what kind of development would it result in if the poor and
less fortunate people are left out?

One more important thing that has come into the general public’s notice is the environmental violations that took place while the park was being built. An initial enquiry ordered by the environmental ministry after the public outcry found several environmental violations. The memorial also extends near Okhala bird sanctuary which further complicates the issue. Though the project was given a clean chit by the Supreme Court, with many riders is now completed, the damage is done.

The country honors Dalit leaders as much as they do leaders of other communities for their good work. But Let us not forget the poor and downtrodden people and do some good for them.

What a citizen asks for is Education, healthcare and employment. It would have been a great tribute to the honorable Ambedkar and Kanshi Ram if projects on health care and education were started under their names. I believe if they had been alive, they would have also supported my point.

Let us not forget on what foundation our country is built upon.


Sethuraman K