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Ahmedabad: NGO-promoted park Muskaan, devoted to communal harmony, razed

By Our Representative 

An Ahmedabad-based NGO, Society for Promoting Rationality (SPRAT) has taken strong exception to what it has called “saga of destruction” of “an innovative, much-admired and multipurpose park AUDA Muskaan, devoted to promoting communal harmony, healthy low-cost adventure, scientific temper and cultural exchanges.”
Stating that the park, which now “lies in ruins”, was built after the Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority (AUDA) allotted a 2,500 sq metres of low-lying plot of land to SPRAT at the communally sensitive junction of Juhapura and Vejalpur in Ahmedabad. On this was built “the park that cheered and empowered over 1.5 million Muslims and Hindus.
In an email alert to Counterview, SPRAT said, “The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) that inherited it from AUDA, mercilessly razed the park to the ground, using bulldozers and JCBs, without giving SPRAT the five weeks it sought after slogging for 15 years, to dismantle and move its massive infrastructure.”
It added, “Gone with it are its science promoting play equipment, 200+ seat auditorium, a lot of digital and physical gadgets and other valuables. And of course, many of our dreams... This is a saga of destruction. Of a beautiful creation. Of a dream dreamt, nurtured and fulfilled through sheer hard work of scores of Hindu and Muslim youth from across India, over the years. Since 2004 to be precise.”
"Reviewed" by media (click here, here and here), SPRAT puts the blame of destruction of the park on “an overzealous and unaccountable bureaucracy”, underlining, “We know that Mr Modi’s leaders cannot endorse, much less order, such senseless destruction of national property.” It wonders, “Who in his right mind will snatch the smiles from the parched lips?”
SPRAT claimed, “We were desperately seeking AMC’s help to remove these precious assets to our upcoming House of Reason (Tarkik Sadan), 35 km near Ahmedabad, and to return its plot of land. But neither they facilitated this nor gave us the time. This has completely jeopardized our plans for building a Doing Science Lab there by reusing much of this park’s assets, and plunged us into despair.”

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