Sunday, November 28

Morning walks to become safer after clean-up drives at Lake, Subhas Sarobar

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Much to the relief of morning walkers, who are now back at their favourite spots for their staple fitness exercises, KMDA, the keepers of Rabindra Sarobar and Subhas Sarobar, has launched an extensive clean-up drive in the two areas and the water bodies inside.

The two spots surrounded by vast stretches of greenery were opened for three hours last Wednesday, but it wasn’t the same. The signs of devastation caused by Cyclone Amphan were everywhere, debris and broken tree branches were strewn all over.

Morning walkers led by green activist SM Ghosh started campaigning through social media, posting video clips of the ravaged Rabindra Sarobar. Around 200 trees were uprooted when Amphan struck the state on May 20. KMDA with the help of NGOs and naturalists managed to revive 100 of them through transplantation. “But the lake side was still full of debris and we could only walk through the bitumen-paved paths. Even then we were scared of the unclean surroundings especially because it is the dengue season. It was good to see the authorities heeding to our requests and cleaning the place,” Ghosh said.

The debris were carried in truckloads on Monday noon and an intense sanitization exercise was also carried out. Chemicals were sprayed to prevent dengue outbreak.

Around 2,000 morning walkers can now be seen stretching themselves or taking a stroll at the lungs of south Kolkata early in the morning. Before lockdown, the count would be as high as 8,000 at the 192-acre campus, 119 acres of which are land and the rest water.

Security personnel and KMDA staff are continuously manning the two lakes to ensure people abide by safety guidelines. Ghosh, a local resident and a regular at Rabindra Sarobar, said, “We are asking people to follow the rules and wear masks. We are carrying sanitizer. Morning walk will boost our immunity system. We need to be grateful to the authorities for giving us the opportunity to use the open spaces.”

Basabi Sen, a morning walker at Subhas Sarobar, spread across 100 acres in Beliaghata off EM Bypass, said, “Looking forward to my visit on Tuesday. The lakeside was looking so unkempt, the soil around the root were full of impurities like concrete chunks.” Around 50 trees that were toppled at Subhas Sarobar have also been transplanted.

Source:Times of India

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