With the incoming assembly election in Uttar Pradesh, a notification by Election Commission to Cover up the statues representing the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) Leader Ms Mayawati and its Election symbol –Elephant, created as lot of interest and discussion in the media, which ultimately resulted in the implementation of Election commission order and all the Statues coming under the purview of election commission order were covered up till the election process is finished.
I was in Lucknow during December first week, I got the opportunity to visit one of the massive Memorial, which is considered to be a very pet project of BSP chief.
Symbol of Dalit empowerment, Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar Park in Lucknow, India, now rechristened Baba Saheb Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar Samajik Parivartan Sthal, was conceived for the first time, in 1995, with an initial investment of Rs 9 crore. The park was designed and landscaped by eminent artist Satish Gujral. Initially, it was constructed on 28 acres of land in posh Gomtinagar, and it now has grown to 100 acres.
The project, which began afresh in August 2007, at an estimated cost of Rs 385 crore. About 350 artisans from Rajasthan and 3,000 labourers worked day and night to complete the project. almost all existing structures in the rechristened Sthal were pulled down, redesigned or remodelled.
“The total cost of the project is estimated to cross over Rs 1,200 crore (USD 240 million) . The Sthal has two fountains, each costing Rs 3 crore (USD 0.6 million) and an ‘Elephant court’, which houses 60 red sandstone elephants, each costing approximately Rs 65 lakh. Additionally, 10 marble elephants are being carved at the main dome and gates, with Rs 34 crore allocated for them. The cost of the sandstone boundary wall is estimated at a staggering Rs 1.10 lakh per running metre (appx USD 2.2 million per KM). The boundary wall of the Sthal alone is now 30 kilometres long.
I would like to present the Memorial in four parts;
a) ARCHITECTURE- Most of the Structures are designed and constructed using the SANDSTONE, whereas the central area is covered with GRANITE FLOORING.
b) CENTRAL DOME :- The central Dome entrance and exit has huge WOODEN GATES, with a pair of Marble Elephants at the entrance and same setting of pair of elephants at the exit side as well. In the dome, Life and history of Dr. Ambedkar is depicted in Statues. Statue of Ms Mayawati, along side the Full Map of the Parivartan sthal memorial can be seen here.
c) GREENARY : The entire Park area of around 100 acres is covered with Sand stones and Granite, with a very Little area left for greenery, and whatever greenery which can be found represents a kind of Arid / Desert area.
d) EMPLOYMENT: With such a massive construction, it requires a lot of Funds and man power for Maintenace. In fact in the present circumstances, till the BSP government is in Power, The areas related to Security and cleaning has given employment opportunities to some.
For a MONUMENT WITH SUCH MASSIVE INVESTMENT, I TRIED TO SHOWCASE THE MONUMENT IN LIGHT OF ARCHITECTURE , ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT AND SOCIAL IMPACT.
I LEAVE IT TO MY BLOG VISITORS TO DECIDE ABOUT THE BENEFITS AND UTILITY OF SUCH MONUMENT, FOR A REGION, WHERE EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES ARE VERY SCARCE, WHERE A LOT OF NEED TO BE DONE TO IMPROVE THE SITUATION OF THE MASSES IN TERMS OF BETTER HEALTH, EDUCATIOB, BETTER INFRASTRUCTURE, AND MORE INVESTMENT IN INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT TO GENERATE JOB OPPORTUNITIES.
Full Set of photographs can be visited HERE.
Remarks- Above Facts and details are taken from the news paper reports and may be indicative. Hope above photo essay will give opportunity to my blog visitors to get aquainted with a project - Which to me is a show case - A BIG THOUGHT OF A POWERFUL POLITICIAN CAN MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE...all depends on how it is conceived !!!
Visitors comments welcomed..