The Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (Intach) has chosen Kolkata Police Commissioner Soumen Mitra for a national award as he took up the restoration of Barrackpore Park and documented its ecological diversity. The “country retreat” of Governor General, Lord Wellesley, built in 1800, was in a dilapidated state when Mitra, the then additional director general (training), took over the campus that which now serves as the Swami Vivekananda State Police Academy.
A keen scholar of history, Mitra not only led the restoration of the governor-general’s residence but also documented the rich flora and fauna of Barrackpore Park, which was published as a book by the Academy.
This year, Mitra is one of the two persons selected by Intach for the Anirudh Bhargava – Intach Environmental Award, a nationally acclaimed honour for conservation. The other awardee is the environmental conservationist, Yashovardhan Sharma, who has worked for saving Orans and created water holes for black bucks and chinkaras in Rajasthan. During the massive restoration of Barrackpore Park, which took two years, Mitra had explored the greenery on the campus and took down notes on various species of trees, flowers, fruits and creepers along birds, animals, reptiles and insects found there.
Source: Times of India