Thursday, May 24, 2007
Voila, eet ees Sanjeeviah Park.
Abutting the Hussain Sagar, about 60 acres in all. Not a great space, not particularly well landscaped but a lung nevertheless. Snogging couples in particular find it a most inspiring retreat. Sunday mornings bring in the fitness-conscious: yoga classes, runners, walkers. The water isn't very clean - after all, this is the Hussain Sagar, the dumping place for no fewer than five streams of sewage and industrial waste. But there is hope because once the effluent treatment machinery falls into place, once they figure out exactly how to contain the Ganesh festival dumpings, there is every chance the lake will become a cleanish place.
We were here last Sunday to do some summer birding. The pied mynas were there, nesting with heartening gusto. Then, towards the end of our ambles, a bit of news that left us looking rather grim. Instead of seeing how best they can save this space, how optimally they can use these acres to absorb the havoc we create in the city, how well they can provide a space for flora and fauna as well as the more sensitive of homo sapiens... instead of this, authorities are planning, wait for it, an amusement park. Apparently as it stands the park doesn't bring in revenue.
The present plan includes a maze, a miniature park (World) with replicas of the Hanging Gardens, Niagara Falls, Eiffel Tower and what-not; a children's park with a shoe house, windmill, a sand castle; a miniature park (India) with a version of the Meenakshi Temple, step wells of Gujarat, a Taj Mahal and such-like. There will also be a mono rail, an underground tunnel, cable car and party zones.
I can see it perfectly, of course. The steady stream of revellers and party makers, with their children in tow, consuming chips, kurkure and cola by the armful, throwing wrappers around, wheeeing as they take the cable car. Lovely.
Tax payers' money going on these monstrosities! and I assure you, monstrosities they will be. These chaps routinely exhibit the most appalling taste and have contrived to put NTR Gardens on any top ten list of the ugliest man-made spaces.
I hate feeling ineffectual. Bah! I will spare you my seething blubberings.