A day after the entertainment and children’s parks in the city started welcoming back visitors, Eco Park — the biggest crowd-puller of New Town — reopened its gates after seven months on Friday, with around 50-odd visitors.
It feels good to be back at the park after so many months. Prior to the pandemic, I would often visit the park with friends for evening walk. I am glad that it has reopened by following all safety precautions,” said Nawaz Khan, who lives at a rented accommodation in New Town. Bijoy Sardar from Salt Lake and Jhuma Singh from Sonarpur also shared similar experiences as they had come to their favourite hangout place after a long gap. While the park gates opened only at 4pm on Friday, officials said from Saturday, the park will be operational in normal hours but with a cap on maximum number of visitors to be allowed to enter at a time. “We will allow around 50 people to remain inside the park at a time. Ticket sales for a fresh batch of visitors will be stopped till the those, who are already inside, come out of the park,” said Debasis Sen, chairperson of HIDCO, the custodian of the park.
As per the Covid protocols, visitors will have to wear masks and maintain social distancing inside the park. For this, large circles have been drawn on the grass patches and the visitors are being asked to remain inside the circles while sitting at a place and avoid going close to others. “We have also suspended all land and water amusement rides at the park for the time being. Only cycling is allowed now,” said a park official, adding that the fee for parking vehicles has been exempted for the month.
The decision to reopen Eco Park was made a day after Nicco Park in Salt Lake had reopened. The parks maintained by the forest department, including Banabitan inside Central Park, Salt Lake also reopened earlier this month.